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Building my first gaming PC


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#1 VicVegas

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:52 AM

Been thinking about buying a new gaming computer for a while. Er well, building a new gaming computer.

The Motherboard is the biggest issue I keep facing, but I'll do my best to come up with other stuff to ask.
Also, I face the issue of where to buy the parts and what warranty to get on each of them. For instance, most people tell me to use newegg, but I've found that large commercial places like Best Buy actually sell 'em cheaper sometimes.

So anyway, on to the build.

CPU:

I've been looking at two CPUs that are from AMD and Intel. It appears to be a choice between more cores or more L3 cache. Not sure which is really more important.It's between the AMD Phenom II 1090T and the Intel Core i7 950.

Motherboard:

1. Stability. I've heard allot of horror stories with high end boards breaking after 6 months, I would prefer it if that didn't happen.

2. Room for expansion. Needs to be a good sized board, with three PCI x16 slots and room for up to 24 gigs of DDR3 RAM.

3. User friendly BIOS setup I guess. I've been told about the BIOS on motherboards before, but I've never had to calibrate it myself, hell I barely understand what it is.

4. Decent on-board sound. I don't want to use a sound card because usually they cause more trouble than they're worth. However in the event that I need a sound card, I will most likely be looking into those new USB ones, so I can add and remove it without added headaches.

Sound Card:

Refer to the motherboard.

Video Card:

GTX 580, hands down. I've been looking at the 5970s from ATI but the dual GPUs can be kinda unstable with certain games/applications. But what I really like about the 580s is that they reportedly run much cooler than the 480s did. Now I'm just trying to figure out if I want to go with EVGA or PNY.

RAM:

Honestly have not got this one figured out yet. I want my PC to be capable of having 24 gigs of RAM available, but I'm guessing it would be expensive and unnecessary

Case:

Big, and full of fans. Don't care if it makes allot of noise. I want my gaming PC to be cool without resorting to liquid.

Power Supply:

Big, strong, high output, a good warranty and reliable track record.

That's it for parts.
I intend to use this for gaming, and maybe the streaming of said gaming. Not going to worry to much about the hard drive or DVD/Blu-Ray drive.
Oh and the idea from the start was to upgrade the PC with RAM and extra GPUs when I needed them. Thus, ensuring the PC will be ready for that is a priority.

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#2 s1lents0ul

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 07:23 AM

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - plenty of air colling ability. keep in mind u still need the CPU cooler. i use water cooling because its less weight on the CPU an board, so less stress on board an cpu = longer life im hoping

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - 2x thicker then most for better heat dispersion, can goto 24gb ram has (2) 16x PCI-e and usb 3 and the on board sounds card is amazing and bios is very easy to use.

KINGWIN Lazer LZ-1000 1000W Modular 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC W/ 3-Way LED Switch and Universal Modular Connector

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950 - better then the AMD u were lookin at.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL - 8gb is all u need, 24gb for server like usage

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - for CPU application
==]--s1lents0ul-->

#3 dpunisher

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 07:56 AM

CPUs- for high end gaming, Intel is the only real choice, especially if you are not going to be GPU limited. Figure as well, i7 950s are great overclockers.

Motherboards- not sure where you got your info about high end boards as far as reliability. If you need 3 PCI-Ex16 slots (real PCI-Ex16 slots) then you will have to get a motherboard with an additional NF200 bridge chipset as X58 boards only have 32 PCIE lanes in total. If you plan to triple SLI those 580s, then I understand the need. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131358&Tpk=nf200 If you aren't planning to triple SLI those, then any X58 board with dual PCI-EX16 slots will work. Most boards have more than 2 PCIEx16 slots, but the additional slots, while X16 length, are only wired for 4X.

All BIOS setups are essentially the same. I have not run into one recently that was significantly harder or easier to work with.

Videocard- 580s are great cards, but they are still power hogs. 580s may be cooler, but still pull as much or more power than a 480. Of the two choices, go EVGA.

RAM- yes, 24 gigs is overkill. I am still at 6 gigs in my rig and haven't run into limitations yet.

Power supply- if running multiple 480/580 class GPUs, it is a good idea to go for the upper end of the spectrum as far as watts are concerned. Two 580s along with an overclocked CPU can pull 750+ watts in a heartbeat. A 1KW or greater PSU would not be out of the question. Triple 580s, a 1200 watt unit would be useful. Best track records, Corsair, Seasonic (I sound like a broken record). HardOCP, JonnyGuru, and Hardware Secrets have the most reliable PSU reviews.

Case- no idea. I have a Corsair 700D (for whatever reason is now more expensive than an 800D on the Egg) that works OK. I am sure someone else will suggest a better case for aircooling. Big cases, full of fans, are annoying, very annoying.

RAM- I go for DDR3 1600 so as to leave room for overclocking while keeping the memory dividers happy. I look for RAM specced for stock voltage (1.5V instead of 1.65V) and don't worry about timings too much. Seriously, a triple channel/6gig set will get a gaming rig where it needs to be.

Budget a little extra for a CPU cooler, as stock cooling don't cut it. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065 seems to be the favorite now (for good reason).

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#4 Blaze413

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 04:03 PM

just wondering...seems like it is super high but what is ure budget?

#5 DJBPace07

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 11:51 PM

A few questions:

Have you seen reviews on the Radeon 6970, especially when compared to the GTX 580?

You do know why dual GPU cards can be tricky with some games? You will run into similar problems with SLI or Crossfiring two cards normally.

For what purpose are you going to be needing 24GB of RAM? That size alone is double the size of most modern video games and far more than what most gamers need.

See Blaze's question above for my next question here.

How does the COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP look for a possible case?

All of Dpunisher's PSU company choices are excellent. But there are premium PSU's that you can get. How does the SPARKLE COMPUTER CORP Gold Class GW-EPS1000DA 1000W or the SILVERSTONE ST1000-P 1000W sound to you?

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#6 VicVegas

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 06:56 PM

just wondering...seems like it is super high but what is ure budget?


Depends. I could continue saving up if I have to. Will 3k do it?

A few questions:

Have you seen reviews on the Radeon 6970, especially when compared to the GTX 580?

You do know why dual GPU cards can be tricky with some games? You will run into similar problems with SLI or Crossfiring two cards normally.

I new someone would start harping on me for dissing ATI cards. The 6970 is a single PGU and the GTX 580 still out performs it, though the price of the 6970 is considerably lower.

When it comes to the 5970, the dips in performance on certain games were as if it practically jumped from using 2 gigs of memory to using 1, in which case a single GPU card would suddenly out perform it. And I am fully aware of what can happen when using two cards. Either way I think I'm better off sticking with a single GPU.

Not exactly sure where I'm going with this. But your probably going to tell me to forget about the whole "upgrading" thing aren't you?

For what purpose are you going to be needing 24GB of RAM? That size alone is double the size of most modern video games and far more than what most gamers need.

Yeah, I know. I'm not sure why I always say that when I ask questions about a motherboard.

How does the COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP look for a possible case?

I like the huge cooling fan they put in the side of it, but the case itself feels a little too enclosed and I wouldn't really need the handles as I don't really intend to move it after getting set up.

Something to consider. I have five cats.

All of Dpunisher's PSU company choices are excellent. But there are premium PSU's that you can get. How does the SPARKLE COMPUTER CORP Gold Class GW-EPS1000DA 1000W or the SILVERSTONE ST1000-P 1000W sound to you?

Those all look pretty good, but depending on whether I plan to mess with Crossfire/SLI I may want a 1200W supply.

Which reminds me. I need to find a place for a dedicated circuit. <_<

#7 Blaze413

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 10:05 PM

you can get a ton of stuff with 3k...here is what i came up with...i added a big ssd which can be smaller and 2 1tb hdd which can be trimmed down to save some money but here is what i got:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827140041 dvd burner 29.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146068 full tower with good cooling 139.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533 1tb HDD's 89.99each (put 2 on there 179.98 total)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121374 gpu...fastest single 309.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139014 1200w psu 289.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145321 12gb triple channel memory 249.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131642 beast mobo 359.99 (can hold ure 24gigs of ram if wanted)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115223 fastest cpu out there 999.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103055 good cpu cooler 59.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754 windows 7 home premium 99.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147063 128gb ssd 259.99

total w/o shipping:2979.88 with shipping(just to my house my differ a little) 3009.55 29.67 in shipping


hope this helps...was just put together in a sec so there r probably places u could save some money but thats 3k in a nutshell lol

goodluck :)

#8 DJBPace07

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 10:24 PM

Actually, Blaze, the 5870 has been outclassed by the 6970. Nevertheless, that build is very nice.

BTW, Vic, I wasn't harping, I was just making sure you were aware it was out. Frankly, with the ~$150 difference between the two cards, I don't really see the need to spend that much for so little of a performance difference. The Cosmos case is one of the best. Perhaps my current case, the SILVERSTONE TJ10-B, which has a large fan on top, would also work.

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#9 Blaze413

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 11:09 PM

ya lol i put that build together in like 10min and i havent really looked into the 6k series yet of cards...but ya i personally have the obsidian series corsair case and im very pleased with it, but u would have to buy 3 120mm fans extra for the top....case is meant to be water cooled if u r going to be generating the kind of heat u r going to be and its a little pricy..i was able to get it with free shipping and another percentage off so it wasnt as bad

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139001&Tpk=obsidian%20800d


and i would like to revise my old parts list...since u only want 1 gpu...get this 2gb instead

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102915&cm_re=2gb_graphics_card-_-14-102-915-_-Product 369.99 if u dont mind the extra...or u could get a

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150518&cm_re=2gb_graphics_card-_-14-150-518-_-Product for 309.99 and still get that 2gb and a great card

Edited by Blaze413, 24 December 2010 - 09:11 AM.


#10 VicVegas

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 04:10 PM

I think what made me want the GTX 580 was seeing how well it performed in 2033.

Oh, and an EXTREME processor? No, just no. If Intel would bring the ridiculous price down maybe I'd consider it.

Oh and the RAM is pretty impressive, but I think I'll stick to 6 gigs in three way. Not because of it's price being overkill, but because it requires it's own cooler.

As for the case. I want to stick to stuff with big freaking fans, and allot of them. Liquid cooling would be too much trouble for me. I'll take another look at the cosmos.

#11 Blaze413

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 06:03 PM

these cases are pretty much just fans:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119213&cm_re=full_tower_cases-_-11-119-213-_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129043&cm_re=full_tower_cases-_-11-129-043-_-Product

and the only reason i chose the extreme is because with a 3k budget lol u could afford it and it is the best of the best unless u want an 8-core server processor lol

#12 LT Dan

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 07:16 PM

Ya don't need to spend 3 grand.
Stay dual channel with yer ddr3 ram, get two drives, 500 gig each is good,
stay gigabyte on yer board, antec or thermaltake or coolermaster etc on power supply,
i totally agree about the sli/crossfire stuff, just hogs power supply not worth performance difference
like the 1136 chipset, thermaltake on cpu cooler
personally, just me, i don't like to go more than 300 on a gpu
a lot of this comes down to how you set yer software up and bios etc
really does, if you spend money on good stuff then load up yer software bad, well you know
and good software at that, my philosophy is from a DAW background, if i don't use it in two weeks or less
or it's not helping i don't need it, so i streamline my OS and only install good compatable stuff, stuff that works well with
not only the OS but each other, folks here will also tell you, one game can run smooth and the next one bad,
and as you know, keep the computer clean and defragged, don't be afraid to rebuild the whole thing if you don't like the first run
or make a mistake, sometimes i'll download something, like a utility or whatever and think it's cool, runs like junk
i've actually rebuilt my computer many times, low level format even just to get a "fresh start"
so back up everything, i don't like "registry repair" or "restore" cos' well, i just don't, goofy like that
get a good battery back up, put some money there any questions gimme a hollar :)
Elvis has left the buidling...

#13 DJBPace07

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 05:15 PM

When looking at reviews for graphics cards, look at resolutions you actually play at as that will give you a more realistic performance benchmark. A two or three frames per second difference between a $500 and $350 isn't that much in most games. SLI and Crossfire are worth it, if you are wanting that level of performance, especially with high-end graphics cards. There are some serious performance gains to be had with it if you don't mind sticker shock. Keep in mind that both AMD and Intel are going to be releasing new CPU's and sockets in a few months.

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#14 VicVegas

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 06:57 PM

Keep in mind that both AMD and Intel are going to be releasing new CPU's and sockets in a few months.

Er, when are they not releasing new processors? This is the computer industry we're talking about.

Biggest reason I keep putting it off really.

I don't even know what the BIOS is... :mellow:

#15 DJBPace07

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 10:03 PM

Usually, AMD and Intel release new CPU's quite frequently, but a platform change requiring new sockets happens about every two or three years.

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