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<£3000 gaming/movies PC

Last response: in Systems
March 27, 2010 9:44:38 PM

Hello everyone,

I decided it's time for me to build a new PC, as my current one is now three years old (I plan on selling it to my brother; he does want it). I can spend up to £3000. I was looking around the net for some place for some good advice on what I've chosen and how best to go about it, and I came upon this nice website.

I'm still looking through all the awesome articles and guides and suchlike, so what I've posted here I'll probably change my mind about a good few times yet. Anyway, on with my wishlist...

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: as soon as I've finalised the parts... sometime in April I expect.
BUDGET RANGE: £2000-£3000
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, watching movies, playing music, surfing the internet, Folding@Home.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard (Logitech G15), mouse (Logitech mx518)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:,, Used these three before, I live near CCL so I can pick up stuff from their trade counter easily.
OVERCLOCKING: never done it before, but I'd like to give it a go.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 at least, hopefully more.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: must be as silent as possible, and have a large screen suitable for both desktop gaming and watching movies whilst lying in bed.

Here's a list of parts I have selected so far, with my preferred supplier. None of these are set in stone, I'm happy to change stuff around if it'll work better / is not compatible / is just as good & cheaper.

Intel Core i7 980X 3.33GHz (Gulftown) Extreme Edition (Socket LGA1366)

Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 Intel X58 (Socket 1366) DDR3 Motherboard
They've sold out of the UD7 one currently. What is the difference between the two?

Graphics Card
Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5970 OC 2048MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
There seem to be a number of 5970s from different manufacturers around, and I've no idea how to choose. I have a Sapphire one at the moment though, which is the only reason I picked this one.

2x Corsair XMS3 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C8 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (8GB total)
I'm not too hot on which sort of memory is the best; this one claims to be suitable. Some extra advice in this area would be much appreciated.

RESERATOR1 V2 Fanless Water Cooling System
The only concern I have here is whether the VGA cooling block is compatible with the Radeon 5970. I can't find any information on the net concerning this.

Power supply
ASM X-Zero 700W Heat-piped Cooled Semi-Fanless PSU
Another possibility is the Fractal Design Newton R2 800W 80PLUS Modular PSU, but I like the semi-fanless part of the Nesteq.

Primary: Corsair Nova 64GB 2.5" SATA-II Solid State Hard Drive
Secondary: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB SATA-II 64MB Cache - OEM
One of my friends just used an SSD in his self-built PC; he loves the superfast Windows boot times.

Sound Card
I'm not sure whether the onboard sound would be fine. I'd like to get the best surround sound possible for movies & games. I might just go with a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer 7.1 Sound Card anyway.

GT1000 Z-Machine Black PC Case

Iiyama ProLite B2712HDS 27" Widescreen LCD Monitor
This would be the size of thing I would be looking for. I'm not sure about this one exactly, any suggestions for similar sized ones that could be a bit cheaper?

One major concern I have is the following. The two largest cost items here are the new Gulftown extreme edition processor and Radeon 5970. I could replace these with, for instance, an Intel Core i7 930 2.80GHz (Bloomfield) and an ATI Radeon HD 5870, thus saving around £1000. How big a performace hit would I take?

Thanks for your time in advance!

More about : 3000 gaming movies

March 28, 2010 5:43:45 AM

actually you would never use 6 cores in least 5-6yrs for gaming i recommend the i7 960 for the high budget end

those power supplies are a not of the best i'd rather get a corsair hx850
March 28, 2010 6:33:33 AM

As obsidian said, six cores aren't ever going to be used in games for a looong time. But if you've got the money to burn, I really don't see why not. Imo, it's not really worth the price premium, and the performance levels between an O/C i7 930 to 3.33GHz and i7 980X @ stock is minimal in most games. Nearly every game, 100% if you don't count Crysis, you could max all the settings on every game with the HD 5870, and with your motherboard, you could simply add another HD 5870 in CrossFireX possibly later (even though you don't want it lol.)

Otherwise, everything seems to be in order except the power supply RAM, and HDD.

The power supply - the HX850 as suggested previously is a good choice, modular, 80+ Silver certified and, generally, power supplies aren't very loud, so I don't think you'll have to worry about noise at all. If you want to know exactly how loud it is... at or below 595W load, it is 18dB, ~680W it climbs to 26dB, and at 850W, it is 34dB, which is still very quiet. AMD recommends a minimum of a 750W PSU for a whole system with an ATi Radeon HD 5970 - 850W will make sure you've got a lot of room to overclock, and with a watercooling setup, you'll get quite far I'd say. Here's the link on OC UK.

With Socket 1366, you'll want three sticks of RAM for triple channel, which is well faster than dual channel, although not by much. With a £3000 budget, why not get Corsair Dominator GTX2 DDR3 2000MHz + 6/12GB Kit if you really want. Otherwise, if you don't really mind you can just get good old Corsair Dominator or XMS3 6GB Kit. Because really, in terms of performance, latencies and speeds impact very little on anything but benchmark scores.

Either this: - Dominator w/Fan, CL9 1866MHz or - Dominator w/o Fan, CL8 1600MHz or - XMS3, CL9 1600MHz.
If you really want to, buy two kits and then you'll have 12GB of memory.

Hard Drive:
Nothing major here, the SSD is a very good choice, but as for your secondary HDD - no, lol, anything with Green Edition means generally slower performing. Get the Samsung Spinpoint F3 or WD Caviar Black, in either 1TB or 2TB.

EDIT: The differences between the motherboards is probably the northbridge heatsink, the UD7 has a bigger and beefier one, and comes with an additional heatsink you can place over the first PCI-e 1x slot and will help cool your NB a bit more. Also, IIRC, the X58A UD7's northbridge cooler is water-cooling ready. - Spinpoint F3 1TB WD Caviar Black 1TB

To sum it up:
Get the i7 930 (and o/c like crazy), change your power supply to a Corsair HX-850, get a triple channel kit of RAM, Dominators/XMS3 recommended, and for your secondary HDD, get a Spinpoint F3 1TB or Caviar Black 1TB. Both are really fast drives, the Spinpoint F3 sometimes beats the WD VelociRaptor 10,000RPM drives.