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Thread: New gaming rig ...

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    New gaming rig ...

    Hi guys, I’ll be finishing my Masters degree in a couple of weeks, and I’m planning on building a high-end gaming PC as a present for myself . The max budget is £2500 (been saving for this for a looooong time). Here is what I’ve come up with:
    1. Intel i7 930 - £230
    2. Corsair Obsidian Series 800D - £210
    3. 1000W Corsair Modular PSU - £190
    4. 6GB (3x2GB) Corsair Dominator GT 1600, CAS 7-7-7-20 - £230
    5. 2 x 64GB Samsung SSD in RAID 0 (already have one) - £150
    6. Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Player - £67
    7. NZXT Sentry LX Fan Controller - £44

    I'm planning on water-cooling the CPU:
    1. Noctua fans - £30
    2. XSPC Acrylic Dual 5.25” Reservoir for One Laing DDC - 35
    3. XSPC Laing DDC-Pump 12V Ultra(18w) - £60
    4. Swiftech Apogee XT CPU Block - £57
    5. XSPC RX360 Black High Performance Radiator - £66


    I've been looking at getting an ASUS Rampage III Extreme, however they seem ridiculously expensive compared to other boards. Instead, I'm thinking about getting the slightly cheaper Asus P6X58D Premium or a Rampage II instead (can always add a USB3 card later) - what do you think? I'm obviously planning on overclocking the i7 930, but not excessively so. I know Gigabyte has several boards, but I'm not a Gigabye fan

    The graphics card - I'm stuck between an ATI 5870 (2Gb version costs £400) or a 5970 (around £520) - I'll be playing at 1900x1200, mainly Crysis, Call of Duty, etc. Do you think it would wise for me to buy a 5870 now, and then use the saved money for an upgrade in a year or so? Or should I get the 5870 anyway. The thing is, getting two 5870 is considerably more expensive than getting a 5970. Also, I don't think I can watercool the GPU - can a 360 rad support bother CPU + GPU?

    Any other improvements that other people can suggest? I'll be ordering the stuff on around 5th July after my exams, so it may be that the prices have changed by then.

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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    TBH, spend £1000 to £1500 and you will end up with a PC which won't be much slower especially since you are gaming at 1920X1200.

    Spend the rest of the money on upgrades in 18 to 24 months time.


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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    Tbh after about ~£1200 your pretty much throwing your money away, other than that thought you have a pretty good setup there

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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    Yeah I agree with Cat. And the ATI HD 6xxx series is due at the end of the year or early next year. So if you could get away with a 5870 until then, then you could upgrade to the 6xxx series and get some serious performance from it.

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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    Thanks guys. £2500 is the MAX budget - excluding the watercooling stuff + the case which I guess won't be changed for a while, the stuff listed above costs about £1400.

    As acrobat suggested, I think I will get a 5870 and then upgrade in a year two. Also, I'm planning on RAID0-ing two SSD drives - but I'm not sure how much of an improvement there will be in terms of real life performace ... does anyone have a RAID SSD setup...?

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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    TBH,the RAM and motherboard seem a bit OTT and will give you little performance improvement IMHO!

    It is a shame you don't like Gigabyte motherboards as the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R has both USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 and is under £160:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigab...6Gb-s-RAID-ATX

    It seems to have performance and features similar to more expensive motherboards:

    http://www.overclockersclub.com/revi..._ga_x58a_ud3r/

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/mot...board-review/1

    There is also the slightly more expensive Asus P6X58D-E which has both USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 too:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-...3Gb-s-RAID-ATX

    A 1000W PSU is OTT too especially when a decent 800W PSU will power a pair of HD5970 graphics cards and a Core i7 920 at 3.8GHZ:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/H...ossFire/2.html

    I would go with the Core i7 920 too.

    Since you are using water cooling have you considered the Silverstone Fortress FT02?
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 06-06-2010 at 12:35 PM.


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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    Don't bother with RAID, waste of time. If it's one of the older Samsungs with not-so-great performance, I'd be tempted to flog it and buy a new 120-160GB SSD - I'm assuming you need the extra space.

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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    A 360 rad should do a GPU and a cpu, check out some of the project logs of the guys here, that's what they are doing
    In fact look at fraz's log in the modding section, it's a nice build which you could try and replicate.
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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    If you wanted USB 3 and SATA 3 on a decent Asus board, then this may be worth a look: http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-...3Gb-s-RAID-ATX

    Memory wise, you could save c. £60 and get this with 6-8-6-20 timings: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/p...L6T-6GBPI.html

    If by not overclocking excessively, you mean not exceeding the rated 6.4 GT/s of the board, the i7 930 will yield 3.73GHz, whereas the 920 will yield 3.55GHz. Personal choice as whether to spend the extra £60 or not; personally with your budget, I would use the above RAM and then get the 930 with the savings.

    Regarding the SSDs, you would probably be better off getting the 120GB OCZ Vertex 2E with the Sandforce controller rather than RAIDing the two Samsungs - similar performance but with TRIM function. http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/120GB...-Write-275MB-s

    This PSU (http://www.corsair.com/products/ax850/default.aspx) should fit the build perfectly.

    For GPUs, how about a 3-way Crossfire setup with 5770s for £345? http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon...x-review-test/ I understand that scaling has improved significantly with the 10.3 and upwards Catalyst releases. I bit left-field but something different!

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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    I would suggest the following parts:

    Core i7 920 and Asus P6X58D-E bundle ~ £323

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    Silverstone Fortress FT02R-W ~ £164

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    OR

    Silverstone Fortress FT02 Black or Silver ~ £176 to £181

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Search.aspx?q=FT02

    6GB Corsair XMS3 1600MHZ DDR3 ~ £170

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/6GB-%...-7-20-XMP-165V

    750W Seasonic X-750 ~ £145

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    The new Corsair Professional Series Gold 750W and 850W PSUs are rebadged Corsair X series PSUs.

    This PSU has fully modular cabling and runs passively at low loads. Has very high efficiency.


    XFX ATI Radeon 5850 Alien Vs Preditor 1024MB GDDR5 ~ £220

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/p...-ZNFV.html#top

    OR

    Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5850 Vapor-X 1024MB ~ £261 including delivery

    http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Compo...roductId=39976

    OR

    Asus ATI Radeon EAH5850 DirectCU 1024MB ~ £262 including delivery

    https://www.aria.co.uk/myAria/ShoppingCart

    The HD5850 1GB when overclocked to the same stock clockspeeds as a HD5870 1GB has similar performance.

    80GB Intel SSD M25-M Gen 2 ~ £162

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    OR

    50GB OCZ Technology Vertex 2 ~ £135

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx


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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    TBH,the RAM and motherboard seem a bit OTT and will give you little performance improvement IMHO!

    It is a shame you don't like Gigabyte motherboards as the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R has both USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 and is under £160:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Gigab...6Gb-s-RAID-ATX

    It seems to have performance and features similar to more expensive motherboards:

    http://www.overclockersclub.com/revi..._ga_x58a_ud3r/

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/mot...board-review/1

    There is also the slightly more expensive Asus P6X58D-E which has both USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 too:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-...3Gb-s-RAID-ATX

    A 1000W PSU is OTT too especially when a decent 800W PSU will power a pair of HD5970 graphics cards and a Core i7 920 at 3.8GHZ:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/H...ossFire/2.html

    I would go with the Core i7 920 too.

    Since you are using water cooling have you considered the Silverstone Fortress FT02?
    Fair points. I'm not a Gigabyte fan (horrible colour scheme and non-existence customer service), but I think in this case I'll actually go with the UD3R board, as it's cheaper and seems to have gotten good reviews :-). I'll also go with the suggestion of using a 850W PSU.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skulltrail View Post
    Memory wise, you could save c. £60 and get this with 6-8-6-20 timings: http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/p...L6T-6GBPI.html

    If by not overclocking excessively, you mean not exceeding the rated 6.4 GT/s of the board, the i7 930 will yield 3.73GHz, whereas the 920 will yield 3.55GHz. Personal choice as whether to spend the extra £60 or not; personally with your budget, I would use the above RAM and then get the 930 with the savings.

    Regarding the SSDs, you would probably be better off getting the 120GB OCZ Vertex 2E with the Sandforce controller rather than RAIDing the two Samsungs - similar performance but with TRIM function. http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/120GB...-Write-275MB-s

    This PSU (http://www.corsair.com/products/ax850/default.aspx) should fit the build perfectly.

    For GPUs, how about a 3-way Crossfire setup with 5770s for £345? http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon...x-review-test/ I understand that scaling has improved significantly with the 10.3 and upwards Catalyst releases. I bit left-field but something different!
    Excellent find regarding the RAM - cheaper + better timings! Regarding the 920 vs 930 decision, I'm not really certain - how much difference does the extra 0.2GHz makes in real-performance terms..? Not much, me thinks.

    But the 3-way 5770 corssfire seems interesting. Won't it be quite a bit more noisy than say a single 5870 and generate loads more heat? Plus, I'll then have a task of selling 2 5770s in a year or twos time.

    The single SSD that I currently have is one of the older and slower ones, and also people seem to not have a high opinion of RAIDing them tgether. So I think I'll keep that in my laptop, and get a OCZ Vertex or a Corsair Nova.

    I have considered the Fortress FT02, but the Corsiar 800D seems so much better in terms of cable management and the general space available in the case (albeit at a higehr cost). The only concern that I have is the possible air flow problems if the graphics card is air cooled.

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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    Get rid of the SSD as RAID may give an initial improvement but after a while the lack of TRIM will result in pap performance. Just get a good single fast SSD from Intel or a SandForce based one.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
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    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    Quote Originally Posted by saman_gh View Post
    But the 3-way 5770 corssfire seems interesting. Won't it be quite a bit more noisy than say a single 5870 and generate loads more heat? Plus, I'll then have a task of selling 2 5770s in a year or twos time.
    True on both counts, especially regarding heat as they'll be pretty close together.

    From a cores per £ perspective, the 3x 5770 give 2400 for £345, thus 6.96 cores per £, wereas a single 5870 @ £320 equates to 5 cores per £, although obviously this doesn't account for scaling etc.

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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    Additional thought regarding the case:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Lian-...l-Door-w-o-PSU

    Reviewed here:

    http://www.pro-clockers.com/cases/77...ll-tower-.html

    Would seem a good choice if you wanted to go for a sleeker look.

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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    If you check post 10 you can get an HD5850 1GB for £220 delivered. Once you overclock an HD5850 1GB to the same clockspeeds as an HD5870 you are looking at similar performance.

    BTW, once you reach 20 posts you can get free postage from Scan too:

    http://forums.hexus.net/scan-care-he...-delivery.html

    Also the Core i7 920 and the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R is also on offer for around £309 until around 12 noon tomorrow:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    Both the Core i7 920 and Core i7 930 are the same stepping currently. The Core i7 930 is nearly £50 more expensive than a Core i7 920 on Scan.

    The Seasonic X-750 and X-850 are worth looking at IMHO.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 06-06-2010 at 01:46 PM.


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    Re: New gaming rig ...

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    If you check post 10 you can get an HD5850 1GB for £220 delivered. Once you overclock an HD5850 1GB to the same clockspeeds as an HD5870 you are looking at similar performance.

    BTW, once you reach 20 posts you can get free postage from Scan too:

    http://forums.hexus.net/scan-care-he...-delivery.html

    Also the Core i7 920 and the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R is also on offer for around £309 until around 12 noon tomorrow:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    Both the Core i7 920 and Core i7 930 are the same stepping currently. The Core i7 930 is nearly £50 more expensive than a Core i7 920 on Scan.

    The Seasonic X-750 and X-850 are worth looking at IMHO.
    Thanks CAT-THE-FIFTH, you've certainly been very helpful!

    If the 5850 can be overclocked to speeds of a stock 5870, how much can the 5870 be overclocked? Also, is watercooling the GPU (on the same 360 rad as the i7) worth the extra price of the waterblock, and does it help that much with overclock-ability?

    I understand that the Corsair PSUs are simply re-branded Seasonic ones. Am I correct?

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