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Building midrange gaming rig, looking for opinions

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I've decided to put together a mid range gaming computer. I'm aiming for $1000, but I could push it to $1200 if needed. I intend to run an AMD CPU with two crossfire ATI cards. I started with http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2374565,00.asp as a general guide, then upgraded some components as I saw would fit my budget. Here's what I've come up with so far.


Motherboard- GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128435

CPU- AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition 3.5GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103894

RAM- Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Item http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148325

Case- Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811147153

Thermal compound- Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835100007

Hard drive- Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136767

DVD Drive- LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98B http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827106334

PSU- CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139005

GPU- ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814121399

What do you think? I've taken into consideration cost and relative performance, as best as I can judge, for all the parts. It looks like it will cost $984 (with two CPUs for crossfire). Do you see any potential problems? Did I pick any particularly underpowered components that might bottleneck the system? It looks like it should all be compatible, with crossfire working and everything. I know a fair amount about computers, but I think the experts here would have a better knowledge about this. Feel free to suggest any similar parts I should buy instead, or small upgrades.

Also, I have a question about the graphics cards. These two cards, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814121399 and http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814121419 are both built on the same chipset (ATI Radeon HD 6850), have the same specs, and are priced the same. They are virtually identical except one is "DirectCU/2DIS/1GD5" and the other is "DC/2DIS/1GD5/V2". One of them, the DirectCU model, is out of stock on Newegg. From the reviews, it appears that it runs cooler. They both claim to have the same voltage controller technology and cooling technology though. The sold out model appears to be much more popular though. Both look like very nice cards. Should I wait for the DirectCU model to get back in stock? It just seems superior in some way. I do intend to overclock these GPUs (nothing extreme), as well as the CPU. I pulled this one up as well http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125348, but I'm more inclined towards the Asus model.

Thanks for reading and any advice.
post #2 of 27
I'll post a better one in a moment.

Can you use mail in rebates?
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LG DVD Burner Corsair H110 Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit PLANAR PX2710MW 27" 2ms 
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Phoneix
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-3770K @ 5Ghz 24/7 ASRock Z77 Extreme4 GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 XTREME Gaming Premium... G.SKILL 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1866 10CAS 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Green WD20EARX 2TB 64MB Cache S... OCZ Vertex 4 128GB Western Digital My Book 5TB USB 3.0 Seagate Backup Plus 3TB USB 3.0  
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG DVD Burner Corsair H110 Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit PLANAR PX2710MW 27" 2ms 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
ASUS VE248Q Black 24" 2ms LED QNIX QX2710 Evolution ll 27" 1440p 120Hz Corsair K70 MX Red switches Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W modular 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Corsair Vengeance C70 Arctic White SteelSeries Sensei Fnatic Edition SteelSeries QcK+ DOTA 2 Edition (x2) FiiO E6 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
FiiO E09k Beyerdynamic DT 990 250 Ohm Audio Technica A700 Sennheiser HD 280 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Sennheiser HD 201 Grado 60i M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Speakers Creative Sound Blaster Z  
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Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1850 Asus Dual Band (2.4GHz 300Mbps/5GHz 300Mbps) Wi... NZXT Hue LED strip controller Lamptron FC5 v3 fan controller 
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post #3 of 27
Looks good, but I'd recommending this HDD and PSU.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822152185

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139019

Also, if you can I'd get a x6 cpu.
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post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yes, I should be able to use mail in rebates.
EDIT:
I was looking at the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz 6 core. I researched 4 core vs. 6 core processors, looking at FPS charts of games using 1-6 cores. It seemed that the majority of games don't show much or any improvement beyond 3 or so cores. If a game or program only uses one core, then it would run faster at 3.5 GHz than at 2.8 GHz. With that being said, I think you know better than I do. It just seems that the game programmers aren't taking advantage of 6 cores. It would definitely help with virtualization and running multiple programs, but I'm more concerned with running games.
Edited by locofocos - 2/16/11 at 6:15pm
post #5 of 27
Is there any reason you want dual cards specifically?
Phoneix
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Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Green WD20EARX 2TB 64MB Cache S... OCZ Vertex 4 128GB Western Digital My Book 5TB USB 3.0 Seagate Backup Plus 3TB USB 3.0  
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG DVD Burner Corsair H110 Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit PLANAR PX2710MW 27" 2ms 
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ASUS VE248Q Black 24" 2ms LED QNIX QX2710 Evolution ll 27" 1440p 120Hz Corsair K70 MX Red switches Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W modular 
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Corsair Vengeance C70 Arctic White SteelSeries Sensei Fnatic Edition SteelSeries QcK+ DOTA 2 Edition (x2) FiiO E6 
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FiiO E09k Beyerdynamic DT 990 250 Ohm Audio Technica A700 Sennheiser HD 280 
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Sennheiser HD 201 Grado 60i M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Speakers Creative Sound Blaster Z  
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Phoneix
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Intel Core i7-3770K @ 5Ghz 24/7 ASRock Z77 Extreme4 GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 XTREME Gaming Premium... G.SKILL 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1866 10CAS 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Green WD20EARX 2TB 64MB Cache S... OCZ Vertex 4 128GB Western Digital My Book 5TB USB 3.0 Seagate Backup Plus 3TB USB 3.0  
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG DVD Burner Corsair H110 Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit PLANAR PX2710MW 27" 2ms 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
ASUS VE248Q Black 24" 2ms LED QNIX QX2710 Evolution ll 27" 1440p 120Hz Corsair K70 MX Red switches Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W modular 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Corsair Vengeance C70 Arctic White SteelSeries Sensei Fnatic Edition SteelSeries QcK+ DOTA 2 Edition (x2) FiiO E6 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
FiiO E09k Beyerdynamic DT 990 250 Ohm Audio Technica A700 Sennheiser HD 280 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Sennheiser HD 201 Grado 60i M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Speakers Creative Sound Blaster Z  
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post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
I had the impression it would give me the best performance for my money, versus buying a single $360 GPU. Regardless, if I do opt for a single card, it seems like crossfire support is a good plan for the future. Would a single more expensive card perform better?
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by locofocos View Post
I had the impression it would give me the best performance for my money, versus buying a single $360 GPU. Regardless, if I do opt for a single card, it seems like crossfire support is a good plan for the future. Would a single more expensive card perform better?
A single card is better usually. SLI/CF setups can have a lot of problems and cost more/use more power. Usually when you have a lower end SLI/CF setup, it may perform better, but barley compared to the 1 card equivalent. Plus, youre power bill will increase, so a single card is what you want, unless you plan on using more than 3 monitors (2 + 1 display port w/ crossfire only).
Phoneix
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Intel Core i7-3770K @ 5Ghz 24/7 ASRock Z77 Extreme4 GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 XTREME Gaming Premium... G.SKILL 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1866 10CAS 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Green WD20EARX 2TB 64MB Cache S... OCZ Vertex 4 128GB Western Digital My Book 5TB USB 3.0 Seagate Backup Plus 3TB USB 3.0  
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG DVD Burner Corsair H110 Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit PLANAR PX2710MW 27" 2ms 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
ASUS VE248Q Black 24" 2ms LED QNIX QX2710 Evolution ll 27" 1440p 120Hz Corsair K70 MX Red switches Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W modular 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Corsair Vengeance C70 Arctic White SteelSeries Sensei Fnatic Edition SteelSeries QcK+ DOTA 2 Edition (x2) FiiO E6 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
FiiO E09k Beyerdynamic DT 990 250 Ohm Audio Technica A700 Sennheiser HD 280 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Sennheiser HD 201 Grado 60i M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Speakers Creative Sound Blaster Z  
OtherOtherOtherOther
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1850 Asus Dual Band (2.4GHz 300Mbps/5GHz 300Mbps) Wi... NZXT Hue LED strip controller Lamptron FC5 v3 fan controller 
Other
Ducky OCN.net DK9008G2 PRO (work) 
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Phoneix
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-3770K @ 5Ghz 24/7 ASRock Z77 Extreme4 GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 XTREME Gaming Premium... G.SKILL 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1866 10CAS 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Green WD20EARX 2TB 64MB Cache S... OCZ Vertex 4 128GB Western Digital My Book 5TB USB 3.0 Seagate Backup Plus 3TB USB 3.0  
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG DVD Burner Corsair H110 Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit PLANAR PX2710MW 27" 2ms 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
ASUS VE248Q Black 24" 2ms LED QNIX QX2710 Evolution ll 27" 1440p 120Hz Corsair K70 MX Red switches Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W modular 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Corsair Vengeance C70 Arctic White SteelSeries Sensei Fnatic Edition SteelSeries QcK+ DOTA 2 Edition (x2) FiiO E6 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
FiiO E09k Beyerdynamic DT 990 250 Ohm Audio Technica A700 Sennheiser HD 280 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Sennheiser HD 201 Grado 60i M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Speakers Creative Sound Blaster Z  
OtherOtherOtherOther
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1850 Asus Dual Band (2.4GHz 300Mbps/5GHz 300Mbps) Wi... NZXT Hue LED strip controller Lamptron FC5 v3 fan controller 
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post #8 of 27
^I agree with P. If you are straight-up building a new rig, go with a single card. That way, when you want to upgrade, you can. Better performance anywho--not every game scales well.
    
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post #9 of 27
Seems like you have some nice pieces there, include the Samsung HDD h4rd5tyl3 recommended...other than that pretty nice.
post #10 of 27
it all looks pretty good. as others have said, i would go with a faster single card instead of sli/crossfire right now. Also, i would upgrade to a bigger psu. The psu is one of the few items that can last you through many upgrades. Also, is crossfire/sli is in your future, i think a 650 is a little on the low side. try to get atleast something like an 850hx if you can, great psu's and it should last you through many upgrades. also, if you plan on overclocking, i would save a few bucks and get a 955. getting the higher end 9xx chips dont seem to yeild much of an overclock improvement over their lower parts.
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