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~First Time Builder!~ $2500 gaming rig

Last response: in Systems
July 22, 2012 2:59:37 AM

First off, I just want to say how cool it is for you guys to take your time and share your knowledge with us rookies. That said, please keep in mind that I have been researching this build for weeks but I have never actually built one before... so go easy on me. And I do appreciate any advice or suggestions.

The main use of this PC will be for X-plane - and as we all know this program will max out just about any hardware you throw at it. However, my goal is to build a boss of a computer that will last a long time and that I can expand upon in the future (ie. 3 more monitors, controllers, (home cockpit)).

Approximate Purchase Date: this week

Budget Range: 2200-2700 total

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming. x-plane 10

Are you buying a monitor: No. (not right now). Using my 27" Apple Display (non-thunderbolt).

Do you need to buy OS: Yes. (Windows - 64 bit.) Specific Suggestions Appreciated.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Location: I'm in NYC.

Parts Preferences: No preferences -- just best performance.

Overclocking: Yes / Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes / Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 27":: 2560-by-1440

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Coming from my 2009 mac book pro... simply wasn't nearly enough on any level.

My starting point.

CPU - Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor BX80619i73930K

HEATSINK/CPU FAN - Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 140mm and 120mm SSO CPU Cooler

MOTHERBOARD - ASUS Rampage IV Extreme LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

GRAPHICS CARD - EVGA Superclocked, Signature 2 02G-P4-2687-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (8 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9Q2-32GBZL

HARD DRIVE 1 - OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-180G 2.5" 180GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

HARD DRIVE 2 - Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive



CASE - Your favorites that would fit all of this gear appropriately and be best for heat dispersion?

EXTRA FANS??? - Necessary?

SOFTWARE - window 64 bit. but which version specifically?

OTHER - bluetooth for keyboards, mouse, ect.?

Concern :: What will be needed to run more monitors in the future? (ie. will this setup allow the addition of another GPU for more monitors?)

Again, Thank you for all of your input and suggestions.
July 22, 2012 4:14:49 AM

What is x-plane 10? A flight sim? An i7 is complete overkill for gaming. Get the i5-3570k + Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H. Get 2x4GB RAM as 32GB is overkill.
July 22, 2012 6:04:46 AM

Yup, xplane is a flight sim. And +1 for azeem. This build is overkill for gaming. get the i5 3570k and a compatible mobo. I'd recommend this mobo...

ASRock Z77 Extreme4

Get this RAM...

I'd recommend this case...
Antec Eleven Hundred Black Super Mid Tower Computer Case

If you go with the above case, I'd recommend you grab another 5-7 of these case fans. If you want a specific color, just select it.


Keep in mind the original top 200mm fan has blue LEDs.

More case recommendations...

Corsair Vengeance Series C70

Corsair Obsidian Series 650D

CORSAIR Professional Series HX750
Related resources
July 22, 2012 6:05:23 PM

Thanks for the reply guys...

Agreed - 32gb is way overkill. will go with this as suggested.
Get this RAM...

Would you really go for a z77 now that the x79 is available?

Cases look cool, thanks for that. Is it better to get one with the fans built in, or better to do my own?

PSU. Is 750 really enough?

What about the OS?

July 22, 2012 6:18:31 PM

Yes, go for z77. x79 is overkill for gaming. You're just going to be paying alot more money for no benefit. It's typically better (but more expensive) to buy extra fans and do it yourself. It really all depends on the case you get.

The antec 1100 only has two exhaust fans included with it. That's why I recommend you buy extra 120mm fans if you decide to get that case. At your budget, I recommend to find a case YOU absolutely love...then present it here and I can help you with whether or not you'll need to purchase extra fans.

And if you plan on doing triple or quad SLI in the future, then no, the PSU wouldn't be enough. It will do two way sli no problem.

For the OS, you'll obviously want Windows 7. Much love to linux users out there, but Windows 7 is where it's at as far as a gaming OS. Windows 7 will cost you another $100...just get the home premium, that's all you'll need. Windows 7 can be obtained through other means if you know what you're doing... :) 

If you plan on doing 3 or possibly 4 way SLI, try this PSU...

CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200

Or if you only plan on only doing two way SLI, stick with the HX750w I recommended in the beginning.
July 23, 2012 6:47:15 PM
July 23, 2012 6:54:11 PM

Long Island/Westbury

How far are you from these microcenter locations?

July 23, 2012 7:26:26 PM

azeem40 said:
Long Island/Westbury

How far are you from these microcenter locations?

They are both pretty inconvenient for me unfortunately. No car in the city. I suppose I should price the same build from Microcenter's site.
Thanks for the thought!
July 23, 2012 7:49:07 PM

Everything looks good.

For this particular case, you shouldn't need any more case fans. Looks like everything has been covered. You have 1 200mm exhaust, 1 120mm exhaust, and 1 200mm intake. Looks great to me. :) 

Good luck!
July 28, 2012 1:38:45 PM

Interesting thought... You have advised a LGA2011 processor, and a LGA1155 Mobo. How does that work?
And then I suppose I should get different memory as well which is supported by the x79 platform.
July 28, 2012 1:55:28 PM

Yeah, a 2011 CPU doesn't work on a 1155 socket. Don't get a X79, as already said, they're overkill for gaming. Don't get a 680, get a 670 and a Gigabyte one, and OC it.
July 28, 2012 2:00:13 PM

Rise and Shine said:
Yeah, a 2011 CPU doesn't work on a 1155 socket. Don't get a X79, as already said, they're overkill for gaming. Don't get a 680, get a 670 and a Gigabyte one, and OC it.

So inturn, don't get a 2011 CPU?
July 28, 2012 2:02:26 PM

Exactly, the best bang for the buck combo out there that you can find for gaming is the Asrock Z77 Extreme4 with an i5 3570k.