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Old 04-12-2009, 10:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gaming Pc $3000 limit! Plz Help!

I am brand new to the forums but from what I have looked at the people on here are very helpful. My situation is that I am graduating from OSU in May and my Mom and Grandpa are giving me money to build/buy/order a computer as a graduation gift. Fresh out of college I have no debt because I went on a football scholarship so I feel very lucky. I am moving back home to Michigan to start a job and I want to build a great computer. I wasted way too much money on an alienware laptop a few years ago so I figured I would come here and get pro advice. Here goes what I am looking for in a computer.

Gaming: I am a WoW addict and have been playing since 2004. I am also looking forward to Starcraft 2 and maybe get into some FPS action like CS:Zero or anything else that looks fun. The computer will mainly be for gaming but I also want something that won't be outdated in 2 years. I know technology is always improving but I figure $3,000 should build a nice rig for now.

Music/Storage/DJ: My big hobby is that I am a DJ so I have a lot of MP3s. I use an external controller to run a program off my current laptop to make mixes and do music things. This isn't the main reason for the computer but I do have a lot of songs.

Work/etc... I don't know If work will require me to do things from home or take things home but the rig will be more than able to handle it.

Ok so now to the big question. With having $3,000 to spend and never building a computer before, would it be in my best interest to go with a site like ibuypower or cyberpowerpc.com to build the computer for me? I'm OCD when it comes to stuff but with no experience with building a rig I really don't want to mess anything up. Suggestions here would be greatly appreciated.

On to what I was looking at...

CPU: I've head the Intel Core i7 Processor 920 (4x 2.66GHz/8MB L3 Cache) is a very good processor so that is what I will most likely go with. I am really interested in OC'n this but for now I will go with the stock speed and maybe do that in the future. I heard the 940 really isn't worth the extra money.

Motherboard: I'm really open to suggestions here. I have Heard the Asus P6T is good but what about MSI and EVGA?

Case: I don't need anything really flashy but I do want something that is going to be efficient in the cooling department. I looked at the Zalman GS1000 Full Tower Gaming Case because it looks very clean but what would you guys recommend? I've heard that aluminum is better for a case but any suggestions here would be greatly appreciated.

Processor Cooling: The Coolermaster V8 CPU Cooling Fan System has seemed to have good reviews and I really don't want to mess with liquid cooling.

Video Card(s): Here is what I have been asking myself, "Do I really need 2 cards in SLI, or just have 1 card that is powerful enough?" I have been looking at the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 1GB but what about the GTX 295? If that is not enough then what would you guys recommend for 2 cards in SLI?

Ram: Would 6 GB [2 GB X3] DDR3-1600 Triple Memory Module be enough or should I go with more? Also should I go for DDR3-1866?

Sound Card: Is something like the Creative Lab Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio good enough for this category?

Hard Drive: I don't need that much room to store things but for the gaming drive I was looking at the WD Velociraptor WD3000GLFS 300GB. For the normal data storage something around like 500GB should be more than enough.

Power Source: I guess this would depend on if I go with 2 cards or just one. Anything from 900-1000 watts should be enough though right?

Optical Drive(s) Here I am mainly just looking for something to burn DVDs and CDs. I don't know if this is a very important part of the overall computer but I'm a newb so enlighten me with any advice. Something like the LG 22X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive?

Network Card: Intel Pro 10/100/1000 Network Card?

Monitor: I will be buying this with the $ left over from the rig and out of my pocket. I think something 24"-26" should be more than enough. I was thinking something like the ASUS 26" Widescreen VW266H TFT LCD Monitor 1920x1200 /w HDCP?

Mouse/Keyboard: I love the feel of my friends Razer DeathAdder so that is most likely the mouse I am going with. I also like the look and the specs on the Razer Lycosa Gaming Keyboard but any other suggestions here would be appreciated.

Meter Display: I don't know if this is needed but I would like a way to keep track of my fan speeds and temps. I was thinking the NZXT Sentry LX Aluminum Fan Control, Clock, and Temperature LCD Display?

OS: I have heard bad things about Vista but I don't know If I really want to go with XP. Would Windows Vista Ultimate be a good choice here? Also 64bit I assume would be the choice? I have never really been told what is the difference between XP and Vista and 32 bit versus 64 bit? I know that sounds bad but again I am a newb and I want to learn as much as possible.

I already have my own speakers and headset so that category is taken care of.

This pretty much sums up what I am looking for. I built this computer on Ibuypower and it came out to around $3,000 but I don't know how much I would be saving by going through NewEgg and building it myself or by building it through cyberpowerpc.com. I would greatly appreciate any help and advice given to a gaming nerd who has the cash to make a great gaming rig. Thank you all for any help you can give me.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming Pc $3000 limit! Plz Help!

Definitely build. For expensive gaming PCs like this, building is much cheaper than buying a prebuilt. The i7 920 is the CPU to go with today and there is nothing wrong with windows vista (not too much anyway) the fastest single GPU is the GTX285 and there is a really good price on one which I'm sure someone will dig up for you.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming Pc $3000 limit! Plz Help!

Thank you for the help. Next question is should I go with Vista Ultimate 64bit? Also would just one GTX285 be more than enough to hold me over for awhile? With that Video Card what PSU would you recommend? Again, all help is much appreciated. I'm sure someone out there can build an awesome rig for $3,000ish on NewEgg and link the parts...
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming Pc $3000 limit! Plz Help!

man 3000$ for a computer.. thats actually really weird.. i got bored last night and tried to build the most expensive rig i could. i got to about 5 grand but that was with a 800$ monitor and a 300$ blueray burner AND in canadain lol so you could getyourslef a nice build with that kinda money
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming Pc $3000 limit! Plz Help!

you really won't need to spend 3k to get what you want man

a GTX285 will be more than enough to "hold you over" especially if WoW is about it for you, you'd be just as fine using a 4870 512MB or (1gb if you want to go with most suggested card around)

where to start?

I mean from what your saying a "nice" computer will be more so based on appearance and that would be a personal decision,

for a monitor I'd say this:
Newegg.com - ASUS VK266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Built in Speakers 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1 ) w/ Component and SPDIF out Connector - LCD Monitors
very nice monitor, I have the 22" version of it which I love

for a cases I really don't know whether you want the "flashy" look or a more subtle
"professional" look
either way I'm stuck on the Cosmos 1000

here's the best place to look for what you want
Newegg.com - Computer Cases, PC Cases, ATX Mid Tower, Gaming Computer Cases, Custom Computer Cases, Cheap Computer Cases
have fun

I'd def get some blu-ray with the kind of money
the i7 and the P6T x58 are a great combo,
don't forget that the new x58 chipsets use "triple" channel ram so be sure to get a 6Gb set (3*2GB)
I'm a little tired tonight to start putting together a suggestion for you but I'm sure that someone will definitely get you started
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming Pc $3000 limit! Plz Help!

I'll put together a full build for you that will be amazing. Give me a few minutes and I'll update this post.

Case - Lian-Li makes the best quality cases around. I would recommend picking one of these, or a different Lian-Li case.

Newegg.com - LIAN LI PC-P80 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases

Newegg.com - LIAN LI PC-A7110B Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases

HDD - The 640GB will be for storage and the 120GB SSD will be for your games and OS.

Newegg.com - LIAN LI PC-A7110B Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases

Newegg.com - OCZ Apex Series OCZSSD2-1APX120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Solid State Disks

GFX - The GTX285 will play any game at max up to 1920x1200 res. You will only need one for the games you play.

Newegg.com - EVGA 01G-P3-1285-AR GeForce GTX 285 SC Edition 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

PSU - PC Power & Cooling makes the best PSUs and this will provide you with plenty of juice for your system.

Newegg.com - PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W Continuous @ 40°C EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Power Supplies

RAM - G.Skill is great overclocking ram, which I highly recommend you do with the i7. I, as well as others, can help you with that too.

Newegg.com - G.SKILL Trident 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

Blu-Ray - If you're gonna make an awesome rig, you might as well go all out with a Blu-Ray player

Newegg.com - LG Black 6X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Model GGC-H20L - Blu-Ray Drives

CPU & Mobo - Here is a combo deal for the i7 920 and the EVGA X58. As a testament to how awesome this board is, I run my 920 @ 4.1GHz 24/7 without any crashes or BSODs. Keep in mind that I have watercooling but it is definitely a very stable board that overclocks like a beast

Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!

Monitor - Here is a great 26" monitor for your eyes to feast on while playing

Newegg.com - NEC Display Solutions EA261WM-BK Black 26" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 1000:1 - LCD Monitors

Hopefully this helped. Ask any questions you like about why I chose certain things and whatnot.

Oh I forget the aftermarket HSF for your overclocking!

Newegg.com - Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - CPU Fans & Heatsinks

w/ Newegg.com - Sunbeam CR-LGA1366 LGA 1366 Core I7 Retention Bracket - CPU Fans & Heatsinks

OR

Thermalright "Limited Edition" TRUE Black Ultra-120 eXtreme CPU Heatsink (Socket LGA 775 / LGA 1366* / AM2 / Xeon*) - FrozenCPU.com

w/ Thermalright LGA1366 Bolt-Thru Board Mounting Kit (Ultra series / HR-01 Plus / HR-01 4U / HR-01 3U / Ultima-90) - FrozenCPU.com

both of these will work great.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming Pc $3000 limit! Plz Help!

that monitor is big but I must say that the Asus I mentioned is only .5" smaller at the same res, has a higher refresh time (2ms) and imo is prettier and is also much cheaper $560 vs $340 I believe?

Asus makes quality monitors and I've loved mine, I've dealed with other 22" and Asus is in the same game as Samsung (in most cases)

EDIT: I'm not here to bag on you at all just pointing out the differences
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming Pc $3000 limit! Plz Help!

NEC makes really nice monitors. They make a lot of professional graphic design standard monitors. He will get much better colors and a higher build quality. I feel that if you have the money, get top quality, it will most likely last longer. Don't cheat yourself if don't have to.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming Pc $3000 limit! Plz Help!

Well for that much you can build a computer with potential you will never reach lol

I'd say do something crazy cool... like 3 way sli 285s or soemthing... not that you need to, but if you are really set on spending 3k .. you will be buying plenty that you dont "need"..

I'd spend 2k on a build and 1k on other things.. or maybe try watercooling?
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming Pc $3000 limit! Plz Help!

This is just a general build. Just look for deals on newegg and buy accordingly. Although this build comes out to $1800, you can cut the price down a fair bit by looking on slickdeals and stuff. Anyways this is very high end stuff and should do anything you throw at it. I suggest you buy 1 video card for now and if you are not satisfied with the performance you can always add another for sli.

CPU: Intel i7 920 (combo)
MB: Asus P6T Deluxe (combo) - Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!
Memory: Corsair XMS3 3x2gb - Newegg.com - CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory
Monitor: ASUS 25.5" - Newegg.com - ASUS VK266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Built in Speakers 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1 ) w/ Component and SPDIF out Connector - LCD Monitors
HD: WD 640gb caviar black - Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives
PSU: Corsair 750 TX - Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies
CD/DVD Drive: Samsung 22x - Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - CD / DVD Burners
Case: Antec P182 - Newegg.com - Antec P182 Gun Metal Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases
Video Card: eVGA GTX 285 -http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130442
Thermal Compound: AS5 - Newegg.com - Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - Thermal Compound / Grease
OS: Vista Home Premium x64 - Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - Operating Systems
Heatsink:
- Newegg.com - XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - CPU Fans & Heatsinks
- Newegg.com - XIGMATEK ACK-I7363 CPU Cooler - CPU Fans & Heatsinks

TOTAL: $1864
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