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$2400 Gaming Rig

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March 13, 2012 5:38:55 AM

UPDATE: FINISHED BUILD, SEE BOTTOM POST FOR DETAILS,LINKS.

Hey, im building a top of the line gaming rig for my friend, where money is no object. ;) 
I've put together all the components and it came out to $2400 ($1100 of which is for two GPUs) (cheaper of the below choices) without tax.
All the pricing you see is what I can get these for here in Canada.

First of all, let's start with his requirements:
1. Wants to use this primarily for gaming, not website browsing, watching movies, using applications. He's got a laptop for that.
2. Wants to game at either 27" Monitor (2560x1440) or Triple 21.5" 60Hz monitors (1920x1080). So either 2560x1440 or 5760x1080 resolutions.
3. Wants to game on the best settings (meaning Ultra settings).

Parts I've chosen:
1. CPU $210: 2500k (I plan to overclock this to its limits).
Don't try to convince me to choose 3930K (costs $610), because it gives you like 5% advantage over 2500k in gaming at high resolutions, with dual-GPU. I'd rather take this $400 and put it towards a second GPU.
I know that Ivy Bridge is around the corner, but i have a deadline of one week. Besides, we can predict the outcome of Ivy Bridge processors, and it won't be a massive leap in processing power over Sandy Bridge.

2. CPU cooler $90: Corsair H80.
Corsair H100 doesnt fit inside the case i've picked.

3. Case $90: Antec Eleven Hundred.
Criteria: Wanted a case with a side-panel, and black interior.

4. HD:
I can get the following:
$135 WD 1TB Black 3.5"
$85 WD 320GB Black 2.5"
I looked at HD pricing and they still haven't gone back up since the shortages.
Its unlikely he'll ever go above 300GB in storage for games.
Let's say you get multiple of 320GB drives and put them in a RAID for best performance.
----Will RAID work better than an SSD, with today's horrible HD pricing?

5. SSD $290: Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240GB 2.5IN SATA3 SandForce SF-2281 SSD Solid State Disk Flash Drive
Model: MKNSSDCR240GB-DX.
Source: Best SSD for the money, February, Best SSDs for ~$280: Performance Option.
I know that SSD will be better for game launching (from 100sec using a HD to 45sec using an SSD in BF3) and Level launching (from 42sec on HD to 23sec on SSD in BF3).
I also know that SSD is exactly the same as HD when actually playing a game, so you won't see any FPS increases.
Source: Exploring SSD performance in Battlefiled 3, F1 2011, and Rift. November, 2011.
----Does the extra $200 (over $85 HD) for an SSD justifiable, in your opinion?

6. GPU $550: Sapphire HD 7970.
I've looked at enough reviews to say that he'll need two of these bad boys to game at ultra settings at maximum resolutions.
I've read that overclocking two of these will increase the power usage substantially, such that its equivalent to having triple-7970. So, in order to overclock, i'll need to consider another PSU. (See below)
----Any reasons to not choose two of these? And don't tell that Nvidia's Kepler is just around the corner, i know, but my friend doesnt care and doesnt want to wait. I have a deadline of one week here.

7. PSU: 3 options
A. $100 850W XFX Core Edition (has 70Amps on +12V single rail) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
B. $135 1000W Cooler Master Silent Pro (has 80Amps on +12V single rail) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
C. $115 1000W Antec CP-1000 (has 4 +12V rails, with 30,25,30,30Amps, for a combined total of $840Watts/12V=70Amps) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Well, all these have the required connections to hook up to dual-7970, and my understanding is that you need at least 57Amps on +12V rail for these two.
----Is it good to have multiple rails or not?
----If i don't overclock the dual-GPUs, does option A work?
----What if i overclock the dual-GPUs, does option B, C work? Why?

8. Memory $90: 4x4gb kit. DDR3-1600 ram.
I know that going higher than ddr3-1600 is a waste when it comes to actual FPS.
I've heard somewhere that the voltages matter for overclocking, others say it doesnt matter.
----Does it matter if the kit is 1.5V or 1.65V?
----Do timings matter?

9. Motherboards: I've narrowed it down to two sub-$200 motherboards.
A. $190 Asus Sabertooth P67 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
B. $180 Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z / Gen 3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I don't see the point of expanding to a 3rd GPU in the future, as the performance gains are not equivalent as going from single to dual GPU. So this system will most likely last until he sells it, or until he upgrades both GPUs.
Sabertooth has 5 year warranty, while the Maximus IV has only 3. But their quality is great nonetheless.
----Which is better? Why?
----Is there another motherboard that you think beats these two? Why?

10. Gaming peripherals:
$60 Corsair M90 Mouse
$90 Corsair K60 Keyboard
$80 Corsair 1600 Headset

11. Case Fans $20: Four of Scythe Slip Stream Kaze Jyuni 120mm
110CFM/37dba

Noise levels, obliviously don't matter, as he'll be using a headset.
And since he won't use this machine for regular use, he'll just shut it down when not gaming.
Or I'll need to install a fan controller to turn off all the fans, so he won't go deaf!!!

----Please answer my questions, but besides that, let me know what you think of the build. Thanks! :) 

More about : 2400 gaming rig

a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 5:44:01 AM

You're one of the most intelligent advice asker I have ever seen. :) 
Everything is great!
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a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 6:21:50 AM

Quote:
Quote:
You're one of the most intelligent advice asker I have ever seen. :) 
Everything is great!


said true



but i saw some flaws in ur build

1.cpu cooler

u should know about the closed looped coolers as they a heavily priced

if u are going to overclock as much as u can then i suggest to opt for noctua nh d-14 as it is the biggest (after v10) baddest and coolest cpu cooler for 80 bucks :o 

2. carvier blacks are heavily priced for their performance

get carvier green or seagate baracuda

for storage a 5900rpm hdd would even suffix ur need

3. i would suggest this mobo

$184.99 ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

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

because it can do a trifire and quad sli(2x 590),it has vga,hdmi,dvi ports on its mobo so u can use the intel hd 300 graphics when u dont need the dedicated gpu, it has high quality components like the rog and u can put soundcard or any thing as it has plenty of space unlike the gene which dont

and also it is cheaper and has awesome :lol: 


4. u will need a psu with a 1000w 80+ bronze or higher

the best mobo is of seasonic

$219.99 SeaSonic X-SERIES X-1050 1050W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

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


seasonic is the best psu maker and makes psu for xfx corsair and few others :o  and is cheaper than corsair and xfx :D 


except that why a cheap case for a costly build

i would suggest a corsair carbide 600t white edition

because it is spacious has a windowed side panel looks sexy and has black interior (also it has a build in fan controller which is awesome ) :bounce: 

this case hase every thing whats u want for few more bucks :D 


hopes this helps :hello: 




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Related resources
March 13, 2012 12:03:14 PM

case: cooler master haf x
(best case in town at the moment and its on sale!)
mobo: asus maximus IV gene-z
(if your gonna overclock youll need a z68 chipset and rog board can come in handy)
cpu: intel i5 2500k
(best value cpu. PERIOD.)
cpu cooler: noctua nh-d14
(its a big fan but its worth it when ya put this much horsepower in one build)
video card: 2x amd radeon hd 7970
(best single gpu card on the planet. and two will simply kick some MAJOR butt)
ram: g.skill ripjaws x series 8gb
(you dont need any more than 8gb for gaming)
hhd: western digital caviar black 2tb
(you could get 1.5tb, 1tb, 500gb, or a few different versions but id get one of these)
ssd: crucial m4 64gb
(i dont see why someone who dosent put anything 'cept their os would need more the 60gb)
psu: corsair ax850
(corsair always has the best psus and this is a great example of that)
optical drive: lg black 12x bd-rom
(sony 24x multi if you dont care about blu-ray)
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March 13, 2012 3:37:26 PM

since your usage for gaming then p67 is enough such as this....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MSI P67A-GD53 (B3) - $110 after rebate

perhaps this case?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NZXT Switch 810 - CA-SW810-B1 - $170

this power supply is decent too...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W - $130 after rebate


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CORSAIR CAFA70 - $30 after rebate

it is either hd 7970 or gtx 680....
http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/26308-nvidia-gtx-680-...

ram... any 8gb 1600mhz cas 9 is more than enough...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB - $47

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a c 271 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 3:50:53 PM

Quote:

1. CPU $210: 2500k (I plan to overclock this to its limits).
Don't try to convince me to choose 3930K (costs $610), because it gives you like 5% advantage over 2500k in gaming at high resolutions, with dual-GPU. I'd rather take this $400 and put it towards a second GPU.
I know that Ivy Bridge is around the corner, but i have a deadline of one week. Besides, we can predict the outcome of Ivy Bridge processors, and it won't be a massive leap in processing power over Sandy Bridge.


That's fine - if you're not convinced that the 3930K will offer any performance benefit, you won't benefit from Ivy either. It's best to stick with a 2500K build.

Quote:

4. HD:
I can get the following:
$135 WD 1TB Black 3.5"
$85 WD 320GB Black 2.5"
I looked at HD pricing and they still haven't gone back up since the shortages.
Its unlikely he'll ever go above 300GB in storage for games.
Let's say you get multiple of 320GB drives and put them in a RAID for best performance.
----Will RAID work better than an SSD, with today's horrible HD pricing?


RAID opens up way more room for failure than an SSD / HD combo will. The only reason the HD prices are bad right now is because of the factory shut down in Thailand - once they get the factories back online (should be about a year - prices are slowly starting to trickle back to what they were), expect those prices to drop drastically.

Quote:

2. CPU cooler $90: Corsair H80.
Corsair H100 doesnt fit inside the case i've picked.


I just stay away from liquid cooling - a strong air fan like the Noctua D14 will give you the same results and it should fit in an Antec 1100.

Quote:
since your usage for gaming then p67 is enough such as this....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813130572
MSI P67A-GD53 (B3) - $110 after rebate


A $110 board on a $2400 build? Absolutely not. Get this one instead as it is far better and will match the interior of the case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:

7. PSU: 3 options
A. $100 850W XFX Core Edition (has 70Amps on +12V single rail) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817207011
B. $135 1000W Cooler Master Silent Pro (has 80Amps on +12V single rail) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817171056
C. $115 1000W Antec CP-1000 (has 4 +12V rails, with 30,25,30,30Amps, for a combined total of $840Watts/12V=70Amps) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371036
Well, all these have the required connections to hook up to dual-7970, and my understanding is that you need at least 57Amps on +12V rail for these two.
----Is it good to have multiple rails or not?
----If i don't overclock the dual-GPUs, does option A work?
----What if i overclock the dual-GPUs, does option B, C work? Why?


I would not get any of those - the Silent Pro does not get good ratings, the Antec is decent, and I've heard not good things about XFX's tech support department (which is why I usually don't recommend them). This is what I would get in the 850 - 1K range:
- PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Seasonic X1050 Gold: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:

2. carvier blacks are heavily priced for their performance

get carvier green or seagate baracuda

for storage a 5900rpm hdd would even suffix ur need


Only get a 5900 RPM HD if it's going to be used as a secondary drive, don't get one as the primary as it will be a huge lag. The only reason the Caviar Blacks are overpriced is due to the HD shortages - expect that to change.

Quote:
if u are going to overclock as much as u can then i suggest to opt for noctua nh d-14 as it is the biggest (after v10) baddest and coolest cpu cooler for 80 bucks :o 


I agree that the Noctua D14 will give you the same and/or better results than any closed loop will.

Quote:

6. GPU $550: Sapphire HD 7970.
I've looked at enough reviews to say that he'll need two of these bad boys to game at ultra settings at maximum resolutions.
I've read that overclocking two of these will increase the power usage substantially, such that its equivalent to having triple-7970. So, in order to overclock, i'll need to consider another PSU. (See below)


Good choice.

Quote:
----Any reasons to not choose two of these? And don't tell that Nvidia's Kepler is just around the corner, i know, but my friend doesnt care and doesnt want to wait. I have a deadline of one week here.


Yeah I'm not buying NVIDIA's PR noise about Keppler until the actual products are out - I'm even hesitating to recommend anything NVIDIA right now as even the Radeon 7870 and 7850 are matching and in some cases beating GTX 580 and 590 numbers.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 3:55:37 PM

I thought that the 7870 comes close, but doesn't quite beat it.
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March 13, 2012 4:00:20 PM

Keep the suggestions coming!
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a c 271 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 4:07:33 PM

azeem40 said:
I thought that the 7870 comes close, but doesn't quite beat it.


Depends on what tests but for the most part everything I've seen has it matching or beating 580 numbers. I'm getting the Sapphire model as soon as I get my tax refund.

Quote:
Keep the suggestions coming!


Try this build:

Case: Corsair Carbide 500R - $139.99
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKII 950W - $149.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P - $189.99
CPU: 3.30GHz Intel Core i5-2500K - $229.99
Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - $84.99
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB - $41.99
SSD: 128GB Crucial M4 - $174.99
HD: Samsung Ecogreen F4 2TB - $149.99
Optical: LG BD-R Burner - $79.99
Video Card: 2 x Power Color Radeon HD 7950 - $464.99 each
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium - $99.99
Monitor: ASUS VS248H-P Black 24" 2ms HDMI LED Backlight Widescreen - $199.99

Total: $2,462.87

I didn't include peripherals in this build as that's a personal preference thing and I've never been a fan of spending like $100 for a keyboard and $75 for a mouse.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 4:16:21 PM

I have officially decided for CF 7850. I like the idea of decimating the 7970's OCed performance. :D 
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a c 271 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 4:20:32 PM

azeem40 said:
I have officially decided for CF 7850. I like the idea of decimating the 7970's OCed performance. :D 


For me it will depend on the price more than anything - if the price is right I'll go for the 7850, if the 7870 has better pricing I'll get that.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 4:24:08 PM

The 7850 is expected to release at $250.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 4:29:31 PM

I would choose 2 7870 because it's very close to a gtx580 in a single card config. If you can opt for 2 7950s, you definitely can go for 2 7870 but it's up to you and the price you found

g-unit1111 suggestions are very solid, although I would definitely get an 850W psu rather than a 1kw psu. Something like a corsair hx850 or seasonic x850 is a good choice
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a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 4:31:25 PM

Actually, the 7870 CF is MUCH better than the 580. It far surpasses the 7970 as well. Even the 7850 CF far surpasses the 7970 and only uses a few watts more power than the single GPU.
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March 13, 2012 4:46:31 PM

corsair h80 is terrible, get noctua nh-d14, thermalright silver arrow or nzxt havik

h100 is the only 'water' cooler worth getting over the above 3 and it's still just trading blows with them at much louder noise levels
make sure to check out the video review on:
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cases_cooling/corsai...

also check results for havik here (which is alot smaller than noctua btw, meaning less strain on motherboard):
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cases_cooling/nzxt_h...

if you want real watercooling kit that takes up to 10°C off the cpu during max load (in comparison to top of the line air coolers that is) have a look at slightly pricier than h100 (would require a bigger case too then obviously):
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cases_cooling/xspc_r...
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a c 271 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 4:54:58 PM

Soda-88 said:
corsair h80 is terrible, get noctua nh-d14, thermalright silver arrow or nzxt havik

h100 is the only 'water' cooler worth getting over the above 3 and it's still just trading blows with them at much louder noise levels
make sure to check out the video review on:
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cases_cooling/corsai...

also check results for havik here (which is alot smaller than noctua btw, meaning less strain on motherboard):
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cases_cooling/nzxt_h...

if you want real watercooling kit that takes up to 10°C off the cpu during max load (in comparison to top of the line air coolers that is) have a look at slightly pricier than h100 (would require a bigger case too then obviously):
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cases_cooling/xspc_r...


I just would stay away from water cooling altogether - there's way more room for leaks and error on a water cooling setup than there is on an air cooled setup. If you setup the airflow in your case properly you will not have to worry about temperatures.

Quote:
g-unit1111 suggestions are very solid, although I would definitely get an 850W psu rather than a 1kw psu. Something like a corsair hx850 or seasonic x850 is a good choice


According to my PSU wattage calculator 850 is underpowered for a 2 x 7950 setup, you need 950 minimum so I go with a 1050W just to be on the safe side.

Quote:
Actually, the 7870 CF is MUCH better than the 580. It far surpasses the 7970 as well. Even the 7850 CF far surpasses the 7970 and only uses a few watts more power than the single GPU.


I knew that didn't sound right when a single 7870 are the benchmarks I've been looking at. A dual CF configuration I can imagine would smoke even the 590 and some mid range Keppler models.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 5:04:12 PM

g-unit1111 said:


According to my PSU wattage calculator 850 is underpowered for a 2 x 7950 setup, you need 950 minimum so I go with a 1050W just to be on the safe side.



2 7950s will pull around 300W(around 280-290W) in gaming scenario and the rest of the system is almost impossible to pull 500W unless you have a custom watercooling setup or extreme cpu overclock in which case 99% people having a pc wouldn't be doing.It's normally just 300W max. So, I stand by my psu suggestion, 750-850W is enough and has plenty of headroom. Other reviews on the 7950 also states the same
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March 13, 2012 5:47:56 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions so far.
To clarify a few things,
1. Don't need to purchase any monitors, bluray readers. The monitors are already purchased and i will be purchasing a cheap dvd reader.

2. I've decided to go away from Corsair H80 (eventhough its got that cool factor, that you can say that you have a watercooled pc). Open-loop water cooling is out of the question. My friend just wants to game, he doesnt want the headaches that come with a leak, etc. Also, i don't care about how much cooler a watercooled system runs compared to a air-cooled. We're going with best air-cooling now.

3. Noctua NH-D14 is awesome choice. It looks fantastic, if you have a transparent case window. But im worried about its weight now.
Now, i need opinion whether it will cause an issue in the future, with the motherboard bending.
Thats why the Nzxt havik looks like an excellent 2nd choice winner, with near NH-D14 performance.

4. I can get HD 7950 for $450. Which is $100 lower than the HD 7970 i picked.
I don't want a full-grown discussion about whats better for performance between the two, but one of the requirements was thats its a top of the line gaming pc. So, for now, ill stick with HD7970 unless you guys can convince me otherwise.

5. Looks like im going have to choose a better power supply, based on your recommendations.
PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W SLI Certified ATX Power Supply 80 Plus Silver *7 Yr Warranty*
Looks awesome, 7 year warranty, with 83.4Amps on the +12V rail is great.
I can get it for $130.

6. I don't see the point in spending $100 more than my $90 Antec 1100, just to get another case. Antec 1100 has good cable management, black interior, and has a clear side window. Which was a requirement from the beginning.
Looking at another option, Corsair 500R, which i can get for $115. Its a great looking case, with very good airflow. But it doesnt have a clear side-window, instead it has a mesh design, which is semi-transparent, but not really.
The other cases recommended here are too expensive, over $100 more than Antec 1100.
Other sub-$100 cases with a clear window:
A. NZXT Phantom 410. $105. Not the best, because it only shows off the CPU cooler, not the GPUs.
B. COOLER MASTER Storm Scout $75. But the side-panel is not the best to view the interior.
C. Coolermaster Storm Enforcer $75. Better panel than the Storm Scout. So preferred.
So the storm enforcer, is my 2nd choice. But I still prefer the cleaner look of the Antec 1100.
Again, im trying to show off his dual GPU and CPU cooler.
Thoughts
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a b 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 5:52:52 PM

So far, I haven't heard of any people I know who uses the D14 and gets any motherboard issues other than the ram heatsinks. One of them has the D14 for more than 2 years and it's still as good.

The antec 1100 is a good choice case, go for it

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March 13, 2012 6:03:53 PM

The D14 is amazing... and to answer your question about RAM, go with 1.5V, NOT 1.65.
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a c 271 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 8:23:42 PM

Quote:
To clarify a few things,
1. Don't need to purchase any monitors, bluray readers. The monitors are already purchased and i will be purchasing a cheap dvd reader.


Got it. Any $15 - $20 DVD-RW reader/burner will do.

Quote:

3. Noctua NH-D14 is awesome choice. It looks fantastic, if you have a transparent case window. But im worried about its weight now.
Now, i need opinion whether it will cause an issue in the future, with the motherboard bending.
Thats why the Nzxt havik looks like an excellent 2nd choice winner, with near NH-D14 performance.


Once you get the motherboard screwed into your case, the weight won't be a factor. Even the most giant fans / heat sinks like the ones offered from Noctua, Thermalright, Phanteks, Prolimatech, and so on offer are relatively light weight. Once you get the mounting brackets and everything else hooked in it should be good.

Quote:

5. Looks like im going have to choose a better power supply, based on your recommendations.
PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W SLI Certified ATX Power Supply 80 Plus Silver *7 Yr Warranty*
Looks awesome, 7 year warranty, with 83.4Amps on the +12V rail is great.
I can get it for $130.


Yes good choice - I'm planning on upgrading my PSU to that when I get my tax refund.

Quote:


6. I don't see the point in spending $100 more than my $90 Antec 1100, just to get another case. Antec 1100 has good cable management, black interior, and has a clear side window. Which was a requirement from the beginning.
Looking at another option, Corsair 500R, which i can get for $115. Its a great looking case, with very good airflow. But it doesnt have a clear side-window, instead it has a mesh design, which is semi-transparent, but not really.
The other cases recommended here are too expensive, over $100 more than Antec 1100.
Other sub-$100 cases with a clear window:
A. NZXT Phantom 410. $105. Not the best, because it only shows off the CPU cooler, not the GPUs.
B. COOLER MASTER Storm Scout $75. But the side-panel is not the best to view the interior.
C. Coolermaster Storm Enforcer $75. Better panel than the Storm Scout. So preferred.
So the storm enforcer, is my 2nd choice. But I still prefer the cleaner look of the Antec 1100.
Again, im trying to show off his dual GPU and CPU cooler.


The Carbide 500R is the same one I recommended - it's an excellent choice - it isn't too flashy and has solid features.

I like the Antec 1100 too, that should be a good case for the price.
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Best solution

a c 204 4 Gaming
March 13, 2012 10:25:06 PM

Lotta mismatched parts here

2. The H80 does no better than the better air coolers so the big question remains ....why put water in your case for no gain (well other than noise) . Phanteks or Silver Arrow belongs here.

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/phanteks_ph_tc14pe...

3. The 1100 is a budget case and doesn't belong in a $2400 build. Corsair 500R, Antec DF-85 or 1200V3, HAF-X

4. HD's - you'll want a 7200 min rpm drive with large platters for speed.

Quote:
Let's say you get multiple of 320GB drives and put them in a RAID for best performance.


You said purpose was gaming and RAID doe nothing for gaming.

5. SSD - If all he needs is 300GB.....consider maybe getting by w/ a 256 GB SSD. The Chronos Deluxe, Patriot Wildfire, Vertex 3 Max IOPS and Samsung 830 are on my short list at both the 120/128 and 240/256 GB sizes

6. GFX - Have you read the CF reviews ?

Quote:
Any reasons to not choose two of these?


http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-crossfire-...

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The past year if you have read up in our forums, AMD's Radeon team has been a step too slow with driver support. While there are monthly updates and hotfixes titles like Rage and Skyrim have been plagued by driver bugs, especially in Crossfire modes. It took AMD weeks to fix. When you drop 60 EUR on game you want to be able to play it on release day, period.

When we relate that to our test suite with CrossfireX in mind AMD did not return with a homerun either. We had some issues, COD MW2 had a negative scaling issue, Anno 1404 refused to scale properly below 1920x1200 (though that one might have been the one title severely CPU limited) and Dirt 2 showed massive graphics corruption. We inserted Anno 1404 but didn't even bother with the other two titles hence I did not include them in the benchmark session.


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I don't see the point of expanding to a 3rd GPU in the future, as the performance gains are not equivalent as going from single to dual GPU.


Tri-Fire is a place I fear to tread.....

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-cross...

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The one recommendation we always gave you guys is to keep it simple at 2 GPUs maximum, as after 2 GPUs in a CrossfireX setup you quickly run into weird anomalies that can be irritating. ..... So over the years Multi-GPU support has improved quite a bit, AMD still isn't up-to snuff at the level of NVIDIA though, multi-GPU supports still literally and directly remains the Achilles heel of ATI's Catalyst drivers..... So let's round things up, personally we always say stick to one or maybe two high-end cards as there is so much less driver fuzz to worry about. It's like this with ATI, once you pass 2 GPUs you'll often find yourself compromising a lot with new game titles versus multi-GPU support.


But consider that three 580's gets you about 8% more fps going from $900 to$1350 investment. If that is too low of a return in your book, consider that $900 worth of 580's gets you only 10% more than $440 of 560 Ti's ..... same is true for the red team......twin 7970's is not going to get you significantly more than twin 78xx cards for a whole lot less money. Can't give you benchies as yet as the 78xx and 79xx series failed to complete a number of titles under CF in Guru3D's game test suite. It will be a while but they'll get the bugaboos out but when they do, I don't see anything changing.... two 6970's for $640 only get 17% more performance than two 6870's for half the price.

I'm seeing the 78xx series being the best chance at a cost per frame winner for AMD in this round.

7. PSU - The CP-1000 and CP-850 are superb PSU's at the very top of my fav list. The issue however is that they are only compatible w/ 4 antec cases.....1200 V3, DF-85, P193 and P183. I wouldn't go near the CM unit.

8. RAM

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I know that going higher than ddr3-1600 is a waste when it comes to actual FPS.
I've heard somewhere that the voltages matter for overclocking, others say it doesnt matter.
----Does it matter if the kit is 1.5V or 1.65V?
----Do timings matter?


Many would argue that anything over 8GB is a waste.

It's not whether faster RAM speeds increase performance (they do) whether they are worth the extra investment depends on your outlook.....some will say a 3% performance increase is not worth a 25% ($15) increase in RAM price .... others will say a 3% increase in performance is worth and extra 0.6% ((same $15) in total system price. Same holds true for lower CAS.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2792/12

22.3 % (SLI) increase in minimum frame rates w/ C6 instead of C8 in Far Cry 2
18% (single card) / 5% (SLI) increase in minimum frame rates w/ C6 instead of C8 in Dawn of War
15% (single card) / 5% (SLI) increase in minimum frame rates w/ C6 instead of C8 in World in Conflict

Also see http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/memory/2011/01/11/the-...

And no it doesn't matter about the voltage.

http://www.clunk.org.uk/forums/overclocking/39184-p67-s...

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Sandy Bridge does not demand only 1.5v modules, it will be perfectly happy with 1.65v modules too. If someone tries to tell you that you must have 1.5v modules, then they are either trying to sell them to you, or they have been reading misinformation, or both! Another point to consider here, is that in your BIOS, if you head to the memory voltage setting, and enter 1.5v, the text will remain white/grey, if you enter 1.65v, it will turn yellow, and it isn't until 1.73v that it turns red, so at the moment, I'd rest assured that 1.65v modules are OK to use, and I have had this confirmed by Asus, Gigabyte and Corsair so far, as soon as I hear from anyone else, I will update this again.


9. MoBo - your choices include an outdated MoBo, not that I have a problem with that as I see no advantage to Z68 at this point in time in a box of this type, and a micro ATX board. The Sabertooth is a great board but if I was buying P67, I'd be buying the WS Revolution. IF ya want Z68 GEN 3 I'd do the
P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
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March 13, 2012 10:29:05 PM

sweetchaos said:
Thanks for all the suggestions so far.
To clarify a few things,
1. Don't need to purchase any monitors, bluray readers. The monitors are already purchased and i will be purchasing a cheap dvd reader.

2. I've decided to go away from Corsair H80 (eventhough its got that cool factor, that you can say that you have a watercooled pc). Open-loop water cooling is out of the question. My friend just wants to game, he doesnt want the headaches that come with a leak, etc. Also, i don't care about how much cooler a watercooled system runs compared to a air-cooled. We're going with best air-cooling now.

3. Noctua NH-D14 is awesome choice. It looks fantastic, if you have a transparent case window. But im worried about its weight now.
Now, i need opinion whether it will cause an issue in the future, with the motherboard bending.
Thats why the Nzxt havik looks like an excellent 2nd choice winner, with near NH-D14 performance.

4. I can get HD 7950 for $450. Which is $100 lower than the HD 7970 i picked.
I don't want a full-grown discussion about whats better for performance between the two, but one of the requirements was thats its a top of the line gaming pc. So, for now, ill stick with HD7970 unless you guys can convince me otherwise.

5. Looks like im going have to choose a better power supply, based on your recommendations.
PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 950W SLI Certified ATX Power Supply 80 Plus Silver *7 Yr Warranty*
Looks awesome, 7 year warranty, with 83.4Amps on the +12V rail is great.
I can get it for $130.

6. I don't see the point in spending $100 more than my $90 Antec 1100, just to get another case. Antec 1100 has good cable management, black interior, and has a clear side window. Which was a requirement from the beginning.
Looking at another option, Corsair 500R, which i can get for $115. Its a great looking case, with very good airflow. But it doesnt have a clear side-window, instead it has a mesh design, which is semi-transparent, but not really.
The other cases recommended here are too expensive, over $100 more than Antec 1100.
Other sub-$100 cases with a clear window:
A. NZXT Phantom 410. $105. Not the best, because it only shows off the CPU cooler, not the GPUs.
B. COOLER MASTER Storm Scout $75. But the side-panel is not the best to view the interior.
C. Coolermaster Storm Enforcer $75. Better panel than the Storm Scout. So preferred.
So the storm enforcer, is my 2nd choice. But I still prefer the cleaner look of the Antec 1100.
Again, im trying to show off his dual GPU and CPU cooler.
Thoughts

I saw you are contemplating GPUs as am I between the 7950 or the 7870/7850. Benchmarks have shown that the 7870 only performs a few fps below the 7950 for $100+ less, I dont know that the extra money is worth the small increase in performance.
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March 14, 2012 6:48:20 AM

Thanks for the input guys.
Changes to my build:
--After watching Corsair 500R on youtube, I'm a believer.
I love the design and I can get it for $7 more than the Antec 1100. Great deal.
The side panel is mesh, but the CPU cooler will still be visible, so that's good. Cost: $105.

--I've decided to not purchase a HD, as they are all too expensive in today`s market, no matter what the capacity. And since my friend won't need more than 300GB, I will be getting him a SSD instead. The one I picked from the start, Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240GB. Cost $290.

--I`ve lowered from ram from 16gb to 8gb.
So 2x4gb low-profile kit (DDR-1600). Cost: $35.

--You guys gave a lot of motherboard recommendations, so here`s a list.
Available here in Canada, and within the acceptable price range.
Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3. $200.
Asus Maximus IV Gene-Zen/Gen3. $177.
Asus Sabertooth P67 $188.
Outside the acceptable price range:
MSI P67A-GD53 (B3). $140. (Too low end, most likely for budget builders.)
ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution. $253.
AsRock Z68 Extreme4. $222.

I`ve narrowed it down to one, the Sabertooth P67.
The second closest was the Maximus IV, but after looking at the configuration of the board, I see that the two PCIE slots are located next to each other, and when ill be putting in both the GPUs, it will cause heat issues. The Sabertooth doesnt have that issue, plus its got an extended 5 year warranty, which is great.
Other recommendations cost more, but I don`t see any benefit in getting those as there is virtually no performance gains as you move higher in price.

Thanks for all the input guys.
Here`s the final built:
$210 CPU: 2500k http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$190 Mobo: Sabertooth P67 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$290 SSD: Mushkin 240GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$1100 DUAL-GPU: HD 7970 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$60 Mouse: Corsair M90 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$90 Keyboard: Corsair K60 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$80 Headset: Corsair 1500 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your recommendations that changed my build:
$105 Case: 500R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$85 CPU cooler: Noctua NH-D14 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$35 Memory: Patriot 2x4gb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$130 PSU: 950W PC Power & Cooling http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total $2375 CAD.

Thanks a lot guys!
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March 14, 2012 6:51:28 AM

Best answer selected by sweetchaos.
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