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High-End Gaming Computer Builds

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March 12, 2012 4:12:32 PM

Hey guys, I am going to build my own gaming computer but I need some help:

Can someone tell me the specifications for the best gaming computer builds out there. Money isn't a problem. I would like the computer to run all of the best games out there on it's max graphics etc.

Once again, money isn't really a problem, I've been saving up for a long long time now.

1) I would like a Full Case tower with some cool lighting, if not, I can just go get some Antec colored fans.
2) Runs all of the big games: Skyrim, Mass Efect 3, Starcraft, MW3, Battle Field 3.
3) Really really good graphics card. I'm leaning towards nVidia GTX cards. (I'll SLI)
4) I would really like to have 1TB+ of storage. I was thinking of getting like 3 Seagate Momentus SSD+HDD.
5) I would like a Windows OS, but I don't really know if the Professional version is worth, please help :D 
6) I would like to have it liquid cooled, the ones that don't need refilling, a closed loop.
7) I don't really trust heat sinks, so I really would like the CPU to be liquid cooled buy a closed loop.
8) The CPU is the thing that really confuses me. I want an i7 core. But is the 990-Extreme the best one they have, or the 2600's? Please help specify :ouch: 
9) For RAM: I would like more than 16GB.
10) Please stick with Intel CPU's and nVidia or Radeon for the GPU.
11) Thanks!!!!
a c 93 B Homebuilt system
a c 280 4 Gaming
March 12, 2012 4:37:08 PM

Quote:
1) I would like a Full Case tower with some cool lighting, if not, I can just go get some Antec colored fans.


I generally try not to build around a color scheme - if you want to that's fine but I don't base my builds around that.

Quote:
3) Really really good graphics card. I'm leaning towards nVidia GTX cards. (I'll SLI)


Go with a Radeon 7970 - right now it's owning the GTX 580, even the forthcoming 7870 is producing numbers that match and in some cases beat the 580.

Quote:
5) I would like a Windows OS, but I don't really know if the Professional version is worth, please help :D 


You need Pro only if you use more than 16GB of RAM or you run XP - 95 legacy programs and drivers. If you don't - Home Premium.

Quote:
4) I would really like to have 1TB+ of storage. I was thinking of getting like 3 Seagate Momentus SSD+HDD.


Not a good choice on a desktop build - the Momentus is a laptop specific HD where you don't have a secondary storage option. You can use it but I wouldn't recommend it - go with a dedicated SSD and a second 2 - 3TB HD. That will give you better results.

Quote:

6) I would like to have it liquid cooled, the ones that don't need refilling, a closed loop.
7) I don't really trust heat sinks, so I really would like the CPU to be liquid cooled buy a closed loop.


I stay away from liquid cooling if I can help it at all - on an air system if a fan breaks, you just replace the broken fan. On a water system - even a closed loop like an H100 - if a pipe breaks, there goes your whole build. Even a large heat sink like a D14 will be fail-proof and will produce the same OC'ing results that a closed loop will.

Quote:
8) The CPU is the thing that really confuses me. I want an i7 core. But is the 990-Extreme the best one they have, or the 2600's? Please help specify :ouch: 


I wouldn't waste money on the 990X when it's outperformed by a CPU that costs 1/3 of that. The 990X is three generations old now and isn't worth the cost.

Quote:
9) For RAM: I would like more than 16GB.


On a gaming system you'll never use it all but the X79 will allow for greater expandability should you decide you need it.

Try this build:

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99 ($15.00 MIR)
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99 ($20.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X79 - $329.99
CPU: 3.6GHz Intel Core i7-3820 - $319.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $85.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600MHz 1.7V - $159.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $174.99
HD: Samsung Ecogreen F4 2TB - $149.99
Optical: LG BD-R Burner - $79.99
Video Card: XFX Double D 7970 - $579.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99
Monitor: ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor - $199.99

Total: $2,510.88
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 12, 2012 4:46:43 PM

1) Pick something you like. Theres no real "wrong" answer to this, it depends on your needs. Just make sure its well ventilated (check reviews on it), and it supports the motherboard form factor you're going to use. (Theres only really 2 that are in heavy use at this time ATX (standard) and MicroATX (smaller), but there are a few eATX's floating around (big ones). I would say not to buy an open bench (One thats really popular is the Antec Skeleton), thats fine if you understand that an open bench design raises potential hazards and leaves it suceptable to damage) If you have pets in your house, its probably not a very hot idea, curiosity could kill kitty and your computer in one blow.


3. Really good graphics card, ah, well. If you want the best of the best, Nvidia is supposed to be coming out with the GTX 600 series soon. (OF course, theres always a bigger and better card coming out "soon") Heres some more information about them: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Nvidia-Kepler-GPU-GeFo...

4. For traditional hard disks, theres only 3 brand choices I'm aware of on the market. Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital. In my opinion, you can't really go wrong picking either of them. SSD's I'm not too familiar with as far as to what is good, for me they aren't cheap enough with a reasonable capacity quite yet, but for you that may not apply since you said budget isn't really a problem.

5. Do you know anyone who is in college? Or are you college? I get windows professional for free from Microsoft's Academic Alliance. If I knew you in person, I'd probably *wink wink* "this USB drive here is a bootable Windows 7 Professional, if you temporarily stole it from me, it might magically put windows on your computer for free".

6 and 7. I'm not too familiar with them, but I'm a fan of the Corsair brand.

8. For gaming, I'd actually recommend the i5 2500k, there is no real advantage for gaming performance with an i7. If you insist on an i7 regardless, go for it, but you will be fine. Really, hardware is ahead of software in the CPU department, games still don't effectively use more than 2 cores, and that doesn't look like its changing anytime soon.

9. Pick a board that will support 32GB (thats pretty common with most ATX boards), I'd recommend one with the Z68 chipset/LGA 1155.. Again, for RAM, I'm a Corsair fan. I have 2 8GB modules on my system, one of them did die on me (it happens), but Corsair was real good about getting a new one out to me under warranty.

10. nVidia and Radeon really are the only 2 choices anyway. You might see different brandings on the graphics cards, (IE. Zotac, EVGA, MSI, etc) but they're still either going to be nVidia or Radeon GPUs.

11. You're welcome!, anything else I can help with, I'll try.

12. My addition: Make sure you get a beefy power supply, this is the most common thing builders cheap out on. Don't be afraid to get way more wattage than you need. I'm using a Corsair TX750. Its a hell of a lot more than my build needs, but a good PSU can last you through several computer builds and upgrades.

Here is a calculator you can use to figure out what you're needs will be: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

Edit: Something else you might consider in lieu of a liquid cooler is a mineral oil based computer. Now there are two (*) I will add to this. 1. Submerged PC will void a warranty and 2. Its freaking disgusting to have to service these PCs (for obvious reasons), they're also quite cumbersome to move around should the need arise, but here is a link about them (yes, its not a joke they really do work). http://www.pugetsystems.com/aquarium-computer.php
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Related resources
a c 93 B Homebuilt system
a c 280 4 Gaming
March 12, 2012 5:15:56 PM

Quote:
4. For traditional hard disks, theres only 3 brand choices I'm aware of on the market. Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital. In my opinion, you can't really go wrong picking either of them. SSD's I'm not too familiar with as far as to what is good, for me they aren't cheap enough with a reasonable capacity quite yet, but for you that may not apply since you said budget isn't really a problem.


I'm not a fan of Hitachi HDs by any stretch of the imagination, I've used a few of them and they're always the first to fail. WD and Seagate are far more reliable, but I wouldn't go with the Momentus as a primary HD by any means.

Quote:
6 and 7. I'm not too familiar with them, but I'm a fan of the Corsair brand.


I wouldn't go with liquid cooling, even a closed loop. Corsair does make good products, but air is *ALWAYS* safer.

Quote:
9. Pick a board that will support 32GB (thats pretty common with most ATX boards), I'd recommend one with the Z68 chipset/LGA 1155.. Again, for RAM, I'm a Corsair fan. I have 2 8GB modules on my system, one of them did die on me (it happens), but Corsair was real good about getting a new one out to me under warranty.


You'll never use anything above 16GB on any gaming system. Hell, you'll probably never come close to using 8 - even playing such resource intensive games as BF3, Skyrim, and MW3.

Quote:

12. My addition: Make sure you get a beefy power supply, this is the most common thing builders cheap out on. Don't be afraid to get way more wattage than you need. I'm using a Corsair TX750. Its a hell of a lot more than my build needs, but a good PSU can last you through several computer builds and upgrades.

Here is a calculator you can use to figure out what you're needs will be: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp


I've never found that PSU calculator accurate, Asus has the best one I've ever used and it's always right on the money: http://support.asus.com/PowerSupplyCalculator/PSCalcula...

Quote:
10. nVidia and Radeon really are the only 2 choices anyway. You might see different brandings on the graphics cards, (IE. Zotac, EVGA, MSI, etc) but they're still either going to be nVidia or Radeon GPUs.


Yeah some vendors include better tools to tweak and OC your graphics card with. The smaller vendors - especially EVGA, Sapphire, XFX, and even Zotac all are wise to overclocking and actually encourage it. EVGA's Precision is one of the best I've ever used which is why I'll almost always recommend them for an NVIDIA-based card.

Quote:
Edit: Something else you might consider in lieu of a liquid cooler is a mineral oil based computer. Now there are two (*) I will add to this. 1. Submerged PC will void a warranty and 2. Its freaking disgusting to have to service these PCs (for obvious reasons), they're also quite cumbersome to move around should the need arise, but here is a link about them (yes, its not a joke they really do work). http://www.pugetsystems.com/aquarium-computer.php


Yes - that's correct that a submerged PC will void many a warranty as most manufacturer's products don't cover damage from liquid. That's why I always stay away from water cooling because like I said - if a water pipe breaks, there goes your system. If a fan breaks - you just replace that broken fan. You don't want to trust your expensive, new components to liquid, do you?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
March 12, 2012 5:39:40 PM

Quote:
I'm not a fan of Hitachi HDs by any stretch of the imagination, I've used a few of them and they're always the first to fail. WD and Seagate are far more reliable, but I wouldn't go with the Momentus as a primary HD by any means.


Really? Hmm.. well, I've always happened to have Seagate in most of my computers. I had a Hitachi once in something, never gave me problems, but it was a long time ago.

Quote:

I wouldn't go with liquid cooling, even a closed loop. Corsair does make good products, but air is *ALWAYS* safer.


Yea, the pipe bursting thing never occurred to me, I doubt it happens often, but even so you're right. I wouldn't go with liquid simply because of the risk of condensation, forget a pipe bursting.

Quote:
You'll never use anything above 16GB on any gaming system. Hell, you'll probably never come close to using 8 - even playing such resource intensive games as BF3, Skyrim, and MW3.


Can't argue with that. With one of my 8GB modules out of my system, I noticed zero difference, but hell, why not? LOL If you got into heavy multitasking then it may become an issue, but you're still probably right.


Quote:
I've never found that PSU calculator accurate, Asus has the best one I've ever used and it's always right on the money: http://support.asus.com/PowerSuppl [...] lator.aspx


I didn't notice a problem with it, but then again, when I use it, I usually figure in another 20 percent anyway. I'll try em both out with my computer build see if theres a difference in what they come up with..

Your link gives ms 550 watts recommended.

The other one: 572 watts recommended.

Meh.. Rules of Horseshoes and hand grenades applies.

Quote:
Yeah some vendors include better tools to tweak and OC your graphics card with


Yea, I'd stick with a factory overclocked card anyway. They guarantee the results, and OC'ing the card on your own offers no guarantees and voids the warranty. I have the Zotac factory Oc'd 550TI, and they offer what I consider a pretty generous 5 year warranty on it.

Quote:
You don't want to trust your expensive, new components to liquid, do you?


Would I? No. For me its not so much the warranty risk as it is the fact that they really are miserable to work with and move around. But Mineral oil as a rule won't damage the components assuming they are in proper working order, problem is, if they aren't you're SOL.
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March 16, 2012 1:01:30 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
1) I would like a Full Case tower with some cool lighting, if not, I can just go get some Antec colored fans.


I generally try not to build around a color scheme - if you want to that's fine but I don't base my builds around that.

Quote:
3) Really really good graphics card. I'm leaning towards nVidia GTX cards. (I'll SLI)


Go with a Radeon 7970 - right now it's owning the GTX 580, even the forthcoming 7870 is producing numbers that match and in some cases beat the 580.

Quote:
5) I would like a Windows OS, but I don't really know if the Professional version is worth, please help :D 


You need Pro only if you use more than 16GB of RAM or you run XP - 95 legacy programs and drivers. If you don't - Home Premium.

Quote:
4) I would really like to have 1TB+ of storage. I was thinking of getting like 3 Seagate Momentus SSD+HDD.


Not a good choice on a desktop build - the Momentus is a laptop specific HD where you don't have a secondary storage option. You can use it but I wouldn't recommend it - go with a dedicated SSD and a second 2 - 3TB HD. That will give you better results.

Quote:

6) I would like to have it liquid cooled, the ones that don't need refilling, a closed loop.
7) I don't really trust heat sinks, so I really would like the CPU to be liquid cooled buy a closed loop.


I stay away from liquid cooling if I can help it at all - on an air system if a fan breaks, you just replace the broken fan. On a water system - even a closed loop like an H100 - if a pipe breaks, there goes your whole build. Even a large heat sink like a D14 will be fail-proof and will produce the same OC'ing results that a closed loop will.

Quote:
8) The CPU is the thing that really confuses me. I want an i7 core. But is the 990-Extreme the best one they have, or the 2600's? Please help specify :ouch: 


I wouldn't waste money on the 990X when it's outperformed by a CPU that costs 1/3 of that. The 990X is three generations old now and isn't worth the cost.

Quote:
9) For RAM: I would like more than 16GB.


On a gaming system you'll never use it all but the X79 will allow for greater expandability should you decide you need it.

Try this build:

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99 ($15.00 MIR)
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99 ($20.00 MIR)
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X79 - $329.99
CPU: 3.6GHz Intel Core i7-3820 - $319.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $85.99
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1600MHz 1.7V - $159.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $174.99
HD: Samsung Ecogreen F4 2TB - $149.99
Optical: LG BD-R Burner - $79.99
Video Card: XFX Double D 7970 - $579.99
OS: Windows 7 Pro - $139.99
Monitor: ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor - $199.99

Total: $2,510.88


For the CPU and the Mother Board: Intel i7-3960X CPU and a Asus Rampge IV Extreme motherboard?

And should I save for the new GeForce GTX 680?
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March 17, 2012 8:54:57 PM

manojpatel said:
Hey guys, I am going to build my own gaming computer but I need some help:

Can someone tell me the specifications for the best gaming computer builds out there. Money isn't a problem. I would like the computer to run all of the best games out there on it's max graphics etc.

Once again, money isn't really a problem, I've been saving up for a long long time now.

1) I would like a Full Case tower with some cool lighting, if not, I can just go get some Antec colored fans.
2) Runs all of the big games: Skyrim, Mass Efect 3, Starcraft, MW3, Battle Field 3.
3) Really really good graphics card. I'm leaning towards nVidia GTX cards. (I'll SLI)
4) I would really like to have 1TB+ of storage. I was thinking of getting like 3 Seagate Momentus SSD+HDD.
5) I would like a Windows OS, but I don't really know if the Professional version is worth, please help :D 
6) I would like to have it liquid cooled, the ones that don't need refilling, a closed loop.
7) I don't really trust heat sinks, so I really would like the CPU to be liquid cooled buy a closed loop.
8) The CPU is the thing that really confuses me. I want an i7 core. But is the 990-Extreme the best one they have, or the 2600's? Please help specify :ouch: 
9) For RAM: I would like more than 16GB.
10) Please stick with Intel CPU's and nVidia or Radeon for the GPU.
11) Thanks!!!!

can you fill this out so we can help you more- http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...
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