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Help for building gaming rig £1000-£1500

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June 20, 2010 2:51:13 PM

My PC died recently so I plan on building a new gaming rig. I am going to re-use the case and the graphics card but hoping for some input on the components I have chosen. I am not ignorant about computers but know just enough to confuse myself! My budget is pretty flexible I don’t want to pay a premium for owning the best but still want good performance. I am planning to build in a month.

Case: Antec p183 – I have this case from my previous build, I know it is very important to have good airflow when over clocking and I plan to do so with the i7 930 to roughly 3.8ghz nothing to extreme.

1. Will this case be ok to accommodate all the components and is the airflow good enough for mild over clocking?

Graphics Card: Gainward NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 Graphics Card 2048MB 648mhz – this is the card I have from my previous build I plan on upgrading later.

CPU: Intel Core i7 930 D0 SLBKP Bloomfield 45nm, 2.8 GHz, QPI 4.8GT/s, 8MB Cache, 20x Ratio, 130W, Retail

From my understanding this is the replacement to the i7 920. I plan on over clocking to get the best performance for my money but here are a few things I am unsure about:

Is it worth getting this over the 920 as there is very little in it?

I know over clocking cpu’s always have a risk but am I right saying tha if I have a good cooler and do not go over 1.375v vcore I should be safe?

When over clocking I am still not too sure as to the procedure. Do I go for the max vcore and equal QPI voltage and then see what is the highest mhz I can get to with it being stable on prime95? Tbh this probably requires a different post.

CPU cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems Super 6 Heatpipe Tower Cooler for 775/1366

I have seen reviews with other coolers doing better but a lot of people use this and say it is good: http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

I have heard a lot about water cooling and the kits out there but how easy would it be to do and would it be worth it?

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7, Intel X58 Express, S1366, DDR3 2200, SATA II & III, USB 3.0 & 2.0, RAID, ATX

I have only really chosen this board because it’s not the premium of the ud9 but I understand that it has very good over clocking potential and quality components. I am also hoping to run SSD at 6gb/s and I believe this supports it.

RAM:

I am a bit confused about what ram to get. I thought matching your fsb from the cpu and ram was important. However I understand that the i7 only allows it to run at 1066. So do I go for the fastest cas timing ram or more ram etc? I chose these two as they seem popular in these builds but like I say not very sure as it’s a bit different with the i7s.

6GB (3x2GB) Corsair Dominator GT, DDR3 PC3-12800(1600), CAS 7-7-7-20, DHX, XMP, DF, 1.65V

or

6GB (3x2GB) Corsair DominatorGT, DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600), CAS 6-6-6-20, XMP, DHX, DF, Connector, 1.65V

PSU: 950W Corsair CMPSU-950TXUK, SLi, High Performance Power Supply - massive 78A single +12V rail

I believe this is well over the wattage I need but I hope to mayb sli two gtx 470s eventually, will this be enough? Also I am not sure but does this PSU have cables which you can slot into the PSU rather then all of them hanging out and causing a mess?

Hard drive: OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G - 60GB OCZ Technology Vertex 2E, 2.5" Sandforce SSD, MLC-Flash, Read 285MB/s, Write 275MB/s

I am particularly interested in SSD the idea of starting windows lightning quick and opening files and programs quickly appeals to me. However how useful are they for gaming? Also I have had problems deciding which one to get. I know that old SSD suffered badly from slow down due to it eventually taking a long time to delete items before it writes again bring is speed down badly. I also know that TRIM now resolves this issue mostly and I believe sandforce is something similar? So taking into account the good read and write speeds and price I chose this ocz vertex 2e SSD. However I am not sure if it’s an good and if there are obviously other ones better for similar price and size.

I also have an old Raptor hard drive for maybe extra storage. Is it easy to add this in with combination for SSD?

Overall

Is this a bit excessive for a gaming rig? I want to be able to play most things on max settings in 1600X1050 res. Also I have been reading the toms hardware features on building a gaming pc that is balanced so was wondering is my system balanced? I know my current graphics card will be the biggest limiting factor and gaming is generally down to the gpu doing the lifting but eventually I will get two sli 470s hopefully. Will the system still be limited by gpu then or will it be then the cpu?

I hope you more experienced builders will help chip in with your thoughts on my preliminary build!

Thanks in advance.
channy
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
June 20, 2010 6:51:32 PM

Quote:
CPU: Intel Core i7 930 D0 SLBKP Bloomfield 45nm, 2.8 GHz, QPI 4.8GT/s, 8MB Cache, 20x Ratio, 130W, Retail

From my understanding this is the replacement to the i7 920. I plan on over clocking to get the best performance for my money but here are a few things I am unsure about:

Is it worth getting this over the 920 as there is very little in it?
I read in one bit-tech review that the 930 could get to 4Ghz more easily than the 920.
Quote:
CPU cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems Super 6 Heatpipe Tower Cooler for 775/1366

I have seen reviews with other coolers doing better but a lot of people use this and say it is good: http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm
I think the Prolimatech Megahalems is a very good choice for a heatsink. Personally I think the best fan to use with it is a Scythe S-Flex 1600RPM as it has been shown by silentpcreview.com to be quite quiet and have decent airflow. You can probably choose other fan(s) if airflow is more important. A good source for comparison is here.
Quote:
PSU: 950W Corsair CMPSU-950TXUK, SLi, High Performance Power Supply - massive 78A single +12V rail

I believe this is well over the wattage I need but I hope to mayb sli two gtx 470s eventually, will this be enough? Also I am not sure but does this PSU have cables which you can slot into the PSU rather then all of them hanging out and causing a mess?
The term you are looking for is modular, and no the 950TX is not modular. For SLI 470s a good quality 750W PSU could probably do it. Depending on whether you aiming to keep the PSU for a long time you might be more comfortable going with a higher wattage unit.
If aren't planning on changing cases for your next build then you should consider the CPX form factor Antec CP-850 - which will be powerful enough for two 470s, is very quiet and a good performing and safe PSU - highly rated by jonnyguru.
Quote:
Hard drive: OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G - 60GB OCZ Technology Vertex 2E, 2.5" Sandforce SSD, MLC-Flash, Read 285MB/s, Write 275MB/s

I am particularly interested in SSD the idea of starting windows lightning quick and opening files and programs quickly appeals to me. However how useful are they for gaming? Also I have had problems deciding which one to get. I know that old SSD suffered badly from slow down due to it eventually taking a long time to delete items before it writes again bring is speed down badly. I also know that TRIM now resolves this issue mostly and I believe sandforce is something similar? So taking into account the good read and write speeds and price I chose this ocz vertex 2e SSD. However I am not sure if it’s any good and if there are obviously other ones better for similar price and size.

I also have an old Raptor hard drive for maybe extra storage. Is it easy to add this in with combination for SSD?
SSDs will only be useful in initial load up and any level loading that needs to be done, nothing more. Sandforce is a new controller which causes less writing to get the actual data onto the NAND, however there needs to be more spare area for this to be accomplished. Sandforce drives will have amongst the highest speeds and be quite resilient aside from them being relatively untested.

If you want to go a drive that has been tried and tested and remarkably reliable and a 'known' quantity then this is probably the best for that under £200: Intel X25-M 80GB £173 The write speed is a lot less, but most people won't need to write that much to their SSD - it is not the most important spec at the consumer level IMO. And it has a bit more storage space.

To understand more thoroughly about SSDs then Anandtech is probably the best source.

Yea it will be easy enough to use any HDD with an SSD.
Quote:
Is this a bit excessive for a gaming rig? I want to be able to play most things on max settings in 1600X1050 res. Also I have been reading the toms hardware features on building a gaming pc that is balanced so was wondering is my system balanced? I know my current graphics card will be the biggest limiting factor and gaming is generally down to the gpu doing the lifting but eventually I will get two sli 470s hopefully. Will the system still be limited by gpu then or will it be then the cpu?
I think you're 285 will be able to deal with that res for awhile longer, so might as well go as high end in the other departments as you want until you do need to change graphics card. The GPU will almost always be the limiting factor in gaming. Of course you could spend less money getting an equally capable gaming CPU in the i5-750.
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