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Quality Gaming Rig build advice(Long time gamer, First time Builder)

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January 25, 2012 7:11:48 PM

Hello All!

I've been using Tom's Hardware for research for quite awhile, and this is my first post!!

I'm currently in the process of replacing a Dell XPS that is probably 5 yrs old by now. It is having heat and power supply issues and does not support Dx11. Not only that, it is one of the first and last BTX boards used in the XPS series. It was a nice rig for as long as it has lasted, but now its time to move on.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next 30 days or so

Budget Range: $1500 - $2000

System Usage from Most to Least Important:

1) Super Gamability (Is this even a word?)
2) Internet (media streaming, flash games, downloads, that sorts of things.)
3) Crazy Multitasking -- I'd like to be able to game on one monitor and watch Windows Media Center TV live, or recorded, on the other. Will also be photoshopping, video editing, streaming videos and the such, tho mostly not at the same time.
4) Durabilty (It would be nice to make smaller upgrades if needed throughout the next few years to keep this rig around for as long as possible)
5) Stability (no one wants BSOD's or other glitchy behavior.

Parts Not Required:

DVD recorders
3 sata HDD's
1 Solid State HDD for OS
Logitech G19 & G13
R.A.T. 9 wireless mouse(currently on order)
ATI dual tv tuner cars
twin gtx 8800 cards (prolly wont use)
2 23 inch widescreen Samsung monitors.( I'd like to use my 32" lcd tv with hdmi for movies and maybe gaming)
I also have a 7.1 channel surround card that i'm sure will not be necessary with the new mobo.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tiger or NewEgg seem to be the most widely used at Tom's Hardware and I'm not opposed to either.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences:
So far this is what i've slapped together

Azza Hurrican Full Tower

GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5 or the UD7 leaning towards ud7 so i can add a dual tv tuner and later add a second vid card for sli

AMD FX-8150 8 core

16 GB Corsair Vengence 1866

EVGA NVIDIA 3GB GTX 580 maybe a second down the road for sli

Thermaltake TP-1500M Toughpower Modular ATX 1500w


Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Most likely SLI in future if necessary

Monitor Resolution: I'm currently using 2x 23 inch widescreen monitors and have a Samsung 32 lcd w/hdmi and vga input. I am hoping to eventually get into the 3d gaming and/or a 3rd monitor for the 3d surround things when prices cool off a bit

Additional Comments: I'm kinda looking for overkill to a point as I do plan at some point to use SLI and I think the extra slots on UD7 will be nice for future technology and toys if there is a need. I was also thinking of a liquid cooler, but not sure if this will be necessary. Is there anything i'm overlooking or forgetting? Anything I should be keeping in mind?

Thank you all in advance! I'm looking forward to your comments and constructive criticism.









January 25, 2012 7:31:59 PM

Well if you are hellbent on going with AMD, id look at the Phenom II x4 and x6 black editions for unlockability and better gaming performance. Also if you are going to spend $550+ on a 580 3gb, id advise getting a 7970 instead as its newer tech or waiting til the 600 series comes out if you are a fan of nvidia.

And that power supply is way overkill heh. Could get away with a true 800 watt PSU with good 12v rails and that should power anything SLI or crossfire youd need. I could be wrong tho.
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January 25, 2012 7:42:16 PM

honestly I've been an AMD "fanboy" for quite some time... but if you want gaming and your budget can handle it (which it clearly can) you should buy an intel... i5 2500k would be what I would recommend... the chip is a clear winner in gaming over the 8150...

the 1500w power supply is completely unnecessary with the build you listed even with wanting to go sli in the future an 850 is more than enough and if you must 1kw just so you can say you have one...

16gb of ram isn't going to help your gaming in the least... you don't really need more than 4, but for me I plan on 8 in my newest build...

personally I think that case is hideous... but cases are pretty subjective... the cases I've recently fallen in love with are the mountain mods pinnacle towers (they make awesome cube cases too, but subjectively I hate cubes ;) )
http://www.mountainmods.com/pinnacle-24-cyo-p-498.html
That is really a case designed with watercooling in mind, but it will be a beast of an air cooler too.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - i5 2500k 229.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... evga z68 ftw mobo - 244.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... G. Skill 8gb (2x4gb) - 49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Silverstone 1kw - 213.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... PNY GTX 580 - 469.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... noctua case fan - 24.99 (there are other great fans out there... I think these work great but noise blockers are great too and a bunch of others)... maybe 6 of these?

Total - 1358.95

Total with 2 580s - 1828.94

These prices don't include a case and the number and type of fans needed will scale with the case
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Related resources
January 25, 2012 7:54:57 PM

For super gameability, the GTX580 is about as good as it gets, unless you can find a 7970, or wait for kepler.

From the gaming cpu point of view, bulldozer is a disappointment. Do some research there. It is otherwise ok for heavily threaded apps, but games typically only use one or two cores. so the faster, the better.
You would be much better off building based on a 2500K, and plan on overclocking it a bit.

The psu is a tier 4 unit on this chart; you can do better:
http://www.johnnylucky.org/power-supplies/ranking.html

sli GTX580 will need something in the 850w range, a bit more if you want it to loaf.
Look for a tier 1 or 2 unit with 850-950w.

16gb of ram is good for heavy multitasking. Ram is cheap, get a 4 x 4gb kit.
On sandy bridge, buy the cheapest kit available, sandy is insensitive to ram speeds.

Liquid coolers are a hot item, but not really better than a good cooler in a decently ventilated case. A good air cooler will be simpler, and quieter.
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January 25, 2012 8:36:25 PM

I just knew posting here before jumping into it was a great idea!!

Thanks to all who posted so far!! Lots of feedback, and a ton of ideas to take into consideration. Especially the power supply!! I always thought bigger was better in that department, but hell, i'm still a n00b at this!

@slhpss I checked out the Mountain Mods site! Lots of cool cases there, I'm not sure about the cube case tho, I feel like it may try to assimilate me!! :D 

@geofelt Thanks for the johnnylucky link super useful resource!!

@vrumor I was originally thinking of going with the Phenom II x6 Black and i think i remember seeing a GIGABYTE mobo/cpu package that seemed to maybe save me a few bucks. Thanks for your feedback!!!


I'll be doing more homework over the next couple of days and I'll post my updated shopping list for more feedback and critiques!!!

Cheers!!
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January 25, 2012 8:44:36 PM

yeah I don't like the cubes either... and they are, IMO, not worth anything unless you wanna do some serious watercooling, but i do like the monticle and pinnacle that they have which are both towers.
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