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Old 08-11-2010, 10:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gaming Rig. Any suggestions?

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I'm going to pick up a Scythe Mugen 2 (Fan + Heatsink) at my local computer store.

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Old 08-11-2010, 11:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming Rig. Any suggestions?

what is your budget for just the computer?

Modded Raidmax Hyperion Case
MSI Z97M Gaming
16gigs Corsair Vengeance 1866mhz
SLI GTX 980s
Samsung 830 Series 128gig SSD
EVGA G2 850W power supply
2x Alphacool ST30 240mm, 1x Alphacool ST30 120mm, swiftech Micro res, Enzotech Rev A. CPU water block, Full Coverage EKWB GPU blocks, modded Vari MCP655 pump
LG 34UM95 21:9 Ultrawide 3440x1440 monitor
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming Rig. Any suggestions?

That memory is dual channel (2 sticks). The LGA1366 chips use triple channel memory (3 sticks) for best performance. Go with a 6GB kit (3 sticks of 2GB RAM) or a 12GB kit (2 6GB kits or 6 sticks of 2GB RAM). Also go with a FULL ATX motherboard, that one is a Micro ATX which means it is small and is missing some slots that you would find on a full ATX board. Also you don't need the ASUS Rampage Extreme, any board based on the X58 chipset will perform pretty much the same so go with an ATX board in the ~$200 range. I'm using a Gigabyte X58A-UD3R and it has more features than some $300 ASUS boards yet it only cost $209, it overclocks well too.

As for the 980x, just because it's the most expensive CPU on the market doesn't mean you need it. 6 (actually 12 with hyperthreading) cores won't do you anything for gaming. Quad core is plenty for games and even a decent amount of multi-tasking. Only go with the 980x if you are dead serious about running many CPU intensive things at once or need the power for professional software (photo rendering, video editing, CAD, running many VM's, etc). Otherwise I recommend an i7 920 or 930, they're about 1/3 of the price but will perform very well if it's a gaming/moderate multi-tasking build. I don't recommend the 940/950/960 as they're identical to the 920/930 but clocked higher out of the box for a higher price. You can easily make up the difference with overclocking.

Also, you don't have a CPU cooler listed. You don't need the Arctic Silver 5 paste if you're using the stock heatsink, it comes with good enough paste already applied. Anyways, there's better paste out than AS5 now (I'm not sure what but I was notified of this after buying my 2nd tube of AS5). While AS5 isn't bad by any means, the 980x will take all you've got as 6 cores can put out some extreme heat. Even if you go with the 920/930, you'll want good cooling to overclock it. I got 3.1-3.2GHz out of my 930 on the stock heatsink but am sitting at 4.12GHz on my Corsair H50 water-cooling unit and the temperatures are lower than I was with the stock heatsink. The H50 also came with pre-applied paste that was better than AS5.

If you ditch the 980 and go with the 920/930 (I combine them because there's only a $10 difference and the 920 is being phased out by the 930), you'll have at least $600 free to spend on more important things like graphics, monitors, etc. If you have that kind of budget I would recommend going with an ATi 5970 instead of dual GTX460's. The 5970 costs around $700 and is a dual-GPU card that (with a bit of overclocking) has the performance of 2 HD5870 cards in CrossFireX and will easily beat a GTX480 or 2 GTX460s. With the extra power you can use ATi's Eyefinity technology to drive 3 monitors for more desktop area and a wider field of view in games (as it can render games across multiple displays, usually 3 monitors). My build (with 3 monitors) cost under $2000 but I went with a generic cheap keyboard and already had a Bluetooth laser mouse. I'm using a 5870 and it plays most things well on 3 monitors (1920x1080 x3) but not Crysis on high settings. A 5970 would handle Crysis just fine.

Remember that as far as gaming goes, graphics is king. Modern games need a good amount of CPU to run well, but most modern chips should handle them even with stock speeds. A 980x would run games well, but the graphics card(s) would be the bottleneck in the end. The same happens on a 920/930 overclocked. You have to step down further for CPU bottlenecking to even be a considerable issue with games. This is why I say save your CPU money and invest in a better GPU. With the 5970 being a single card, you even have room for another one if you decide you need more performance later. By then the 5970 cards should have dropped in price as well. Even if you don't plan on running 3 monitors I'd go with the 5970 and a 920/930 over a 980x and GTX460 pair.

Also, to be honest, I would never spend $200 on a keyboard. I'm a gamer and I've always used cheap keyboards and had no issue with them, the $5 PS/2 one I have is nothing fancy but has no noticeable response lag and the button response is good enough for all the gaming I've played. A nice mouse, on the other hand, may be a worthwhile investment as the mouse is critical to good aim. The only advantage I can see from a gaming keyboard is programmable hotkeys, and judging from game controllers I've used with similar features it is usually a mess to configure with an external utility. If you can assign the buttons in the game itself it would be a nice feature though.

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