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Hardware  » Complete Build, Gaming Rig sought.

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28 posts found
  Dragonbard

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/11
Posts: 10

 
OP  11/24/12 6:32:39 PM#1

As the title says, I am looking to build a new gaming Desktop. My budget is around $2,000  and I need everything except the display, keyboard, mouse and speakers, which I can get elsewhere or already have.

I would like a high-end gaming machine that will be strong for the next 5-6 years, if possible. 

I will not be doing super-intensive things other than playing modern games, but am open to a dual card option if it would be better to have to keep the machine strong for that time period.

Other things to consider: I would rather have a desktop replacement-laptop for the mobility, but am looking for a strong machine that is around that budget, so that might not be strongly possible and/or recommended, so I am seeking a desktop build as well.

Have no preference on AMD or nVidia because I have used both in the past and they have both served me well in one form or another.

No need for an i7 card because of what I'll be using the computer for, so a high-end i5 will suffice.

 

I have a friend who will put it together with me for free, so no worries there.

 

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  SuprGamerX

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/05/09
Posts: 538

11/24/12 6:51:40 PM#2
2000$ is overkill for a i5 CPU rig , I'd go for 4 SSD OCZ Vertex 4 128GB in a Raid 0 function. GPU , I'll suggest ATI/AMD since I have never had any problems for the past 9 years , Radeon HD 7950 , around 300$ , amazing card , #1 ATI card on benchmarks , about 6-7 overall which Nvidia tops.   Memory I'd go with Kingston HyperX 4x4GB DDR3 , sound card is pointless these days , since mother boards are so advanced when it comes to onboard sound.  Then your i5 CPU should be around 250-300 top of the line 3rd gen , with either a Asus or Gigabyte motherboard (The only 2 brands I trust and suggest to anyone).  So all that I'd say around 1200-1300$ total , and since you got 700-800 to spare , why not invest in a liquid cooling system for your CPU/GPU all at once.  Like I did earlier this year , drops the temp by about 10-15 celcius on CPU and almost 20 on the GPU.   FrozenCPU.com is one of the best stops when it comes to liquid cooling PC's.   So if my reply helped in any way , I'm glad I could of helped. :)
  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13179

11/24/12 7:10:51 PM#3

What do you think of getting a desktop with an extra small case?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163187

Look at the dimensions on that:  8.75" x 7.49" x 13.82".  That would comfortably fit in most backpacks.  Lest you choke on the price tag, it includes a power supply as well, due to the need for a custom form factor to fit such a small case.

It does make some sacrifices to get there, such as the need for a Mini ITX motherboard (which means only one expansion slot, which will be filled by the video card).  But it will let you make a desktop that crushes any laptop in performance, and gets you all of the advantages of a real desktop.

Or you could go a little bigger with this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163222

Look at the dimensions there:  8.66" x 11.61" x 13.94".  That's a little over 50% bigger by volume than the first one, but still very small.  And that extra space lets you use a Micro ATX motherboard and do basically whatever you want, though CrossFire or SLI would still be a bad idea in such a small case.

If you really want a laptop, then the thing to get is probably a Clevo P170EM, such as this:

http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9170-clevo-p170em-p-4342.html?wconfigure=yes

Actually, from their site, it looks like they've got some high end options from MSI now, too, but I haven't compared that on price to the Clevo.  But even a top of the line Radeon HD 7970M or GeForce GTX 680M is only roughly competitive with a desktop Radeon HD 7850, which is a sub-$200 card.  I'd really recommend going with a desktop unless you absolutely need a laptop for whatever reason.

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

11/24/12 7:21:07 PM#4
You might as well get an i7 with your budget.

Also like quiz says -big fo case.
  doragon86

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/23/09
Posts: 587

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

11/24/12 7:26:49 PM#5

www.reddit.com/r/buildapc

A excellent place when looking for build advice due to the large userbase. Also a bunch of helpful links on the side panel. Also, you are quite correct in saying an high end i5 will be suffice. For a box that will handle games for at least 5-6 years, will probably run you 1200 if even that much. Here's a gaming build I'll be building in December. 

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pisQ

Once again, please check out the reddit site above for advice. It'll really help. 

 

 

"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"
~Lord George Gordon Byron

  Dragonbard

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/11
Posts: 10

 
OP  11/24/12 7:31:37 PM#6

Thanks for the advice so far everyone. 

Quiz, I am currently intrigued by that  mini-desktop idea, although admittedly I have no idea what a build for a case like that would look like.

So, would an i7 show that much performance increase over the high end i5 for gaming? 

  The_Argo

Novice Member

Joined: 7/22/12
Posts: 15

11/24/12 7:39:55 PM#7
Originally posted by SuprGamerX
2000$ is overkill for a i5 CPU rig , I'd go for 4 SSD OCZ Vertex 4 128GB in a Raid 0 function. GPU , I'll suggest ATI/AMD since I have never had any problems for the past 9 years , Radeon HD 7950 , around 300$ , amazing card , #1 ATI card on benchmarks , about 6-7 overall which Nvidia tops.   Memory I'd go with Kingston HyperX 4x4GB DDR3 , sound card is pointless these days , since mother boards are so advanced when it comes to onboard sound.  Then your i5 CPU should be around 250-300 top of the line 3rd gen , with either a Asus or Gigabyte motherboard (The only 2 brands I trust and suggest to anyone).  So all that I'd say around 1200-1300$ total , and since you got 700-800 to spare , why not invest in a liquid cooling system for your CPU/GPU all at once.  Like I did earlier this year , drops the temp by about 10-15 celcius on CPU and almost 20 on the GPU.   FrozenCPU.com is one of the best stops when it comes to liquid cooling PC's.   So if my reply helped in any way , I'm glad I could of helped. :)

Don't listen to this guy, he clearly has no idea about computers. 

Raid 0 SSDs? 7950 best GPU? Sound Card is pointless?  What a joke.

Anyway, onto some proper advice.

 

3570k is the highest end i5, but the i7s will give you better performance in gaming and will be within your budget - even though the performance difference will not be huge it is there so I personally would not rule that out. 

Motherboards these days are all very similar, so you have to check what features they have will suit you. I use a Asus P8Z77-Pro which is a great board. Gigabyte has similar boards in the UD3 or 5 ranges. Obviously the more you spend on a board the more features and better build quality it will have, but it will not necessarily change gaming performance. But you can achieve better overclocks which can help a lot!

RAM, depending on the board will change the RAM you want. 1600MHz should be the lowest speed you look at, with a CAS of 9 or lower at 1.5v or lower. When you choose a board, you need to look at the channels it uses for RAM. Dual, Tri or Quad will change the amount of RAM you will want to get, Dual being 2 sticks and quad being 4. 

GPU, 7970 is the most powerful GPU on the market right now plus they have a deal where you get 3 free games with the card, but if you are playing games that are PhysX heavy (Since you are asking for help on MMORPG.com I am guessing this isn't the case) you should look at the Nvidia 680 range.  I personally use Asus Direct CU II 7970s and they are amazing

If you want to Sli or Crossfire, you will want a 850+ Watt PSU for 7970s

For storage, SSDs are great for speed, but they are small so are generally not great for an entire PC. Usually people use an SSD for boot, games etc and a normal HDD for everyday storage i.e music, movies and documents. Raid SSD 0 SSD is pointless, the speed difference is negligible for the cost of purchasing several SSDs.  I use a 128Gb Samsung 830, I personally would not recomment going under 128Gb on SSDs for gaming. It will fill up fast with your windows and some games on there. 

For cooling, you can either get Air or Water it is really up to you. Top end CPU fans are the Noctua D14, Tthermaltake Silver Arrow or the Evo 212. For water I would really only recommend a H100i, its probably the best lopp kit around at the moment. You can save some money and just get a normal H100 if you really want. If you want more case fans, Noctua and NZXT make good ones. Noctua stuff is rather ugly, but it performs great, so keep that in mind when you look.

A sound card may not be necessary for a PC to work these days, but a sound card WILL give you noticable better sound. If you are using a really top end head set or speakers, you should get a sound card to get the most out of them.

For a case, it is really up to you. Just keep an eye on cable management options, and fan arrangement.

A $2000 PC and a $2000 laptop are not even comparible. A good $2000 laptop will run most games well, but it will suck compared to a PC.

 

Hope this helps. 

 

  doragon86

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/23/09
Posts: 587

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

11/24/12 7:41:29 PM#8
Originally posted by Dragonbard

Thanks for the advice so far everyone. 

Quiz, I am currently intrigued by that  mini-desktop idea, although admittedly I have no idea what a build for a case like that would look like.

So, would an i7 show that much performance increase over the high end i5 for gaming? 

Not really cause games nowadays don't stress the processor as much. Hell I'm running a intel core 2 quad atm, and all the high end games I play rarely have it going over 60% utlization. A lot of the resource usage is focused more towards the GPU than the CPU. If you can afford the i7, I don't see any reason not to get it. However, it isn't neccessary imo. 

"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"
~Lord George Gordon Byron

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13179

11/24/12 7:52:35 PM#9

For the first case, you'd need a Mini ITX motherboard, which really limits your options.  Most notably, you'd get two memory slots (not four), one expansion slot (so you can't add any cards other than a single video card), overclocking would be out, and a video card with a 3-slot cooler would also be out.  It would greatly restrict what CPU coolers you could get, too.  You'd only have room for one 3.5" hard drive, and two 2.5" drives.  The basic idea is that Silverstone tried to fit a high end gaming desktop into the smallest case that they possibly could, and this is what they came up with.

The second case is a lot less restrictive.  You'd need a Micro ATX motherboard, which would mean you can't really get a high end motherboard, but there would be plenty of nice options.  SLI/CrossFire could be done, but would be a bad idea.  You'd pretty much need a modular power supply.  You'd also need a half-height optical drive, which adds about $20 to the cost.  Some things that are ridiculous overkill for nearly all desktops would be unavailable to you:  for example, you could "only" fit two 3.5" hard drives (plus four 2.5" drives).

Otherwise, the main disadvantages of a smaller case in general are less cooling capability (this is why SLI/CrossFire would be a bad idea in the second case) and that it's more of a pain to assemble the computer because the interior is a lot more cramped.  If a computer is unlikely to ever leave your house after it's assembled, then a larger case is nice, but not really essential unless you're doing something very unusual.  But if you're going to transport it internationally, then something enormous like a Cosmos II (13.5" x 27.7" x 26.1" and 47.3 pounds) is a bad idea.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13179

11/24/12 8:01:12 PM#10
Originally posted by SuprGamerX
2000$ is overkill for a i5 CPU rig , I'd go for 4 SSD OCZ Vertex 4 128GB in a Raid 0 function. GPU , I'll suggest ATI/AMD since I have never had any problems for the past 9 years , Radeon HD 7950 , around 300$ , amazing card , #1 ATI card on benchmarks , about 6-7 overall which Nvidia tops.   Memory I'd go with Kingston HyperX 4x4GB DDR3 , sound card is pointless these days , since mother boards are so advanced when it comes to onboard sound.  Then your i5 CPU should be around 250-300 top of the line 3rd gen , with either a Asus or Gigabyte motherboard (The only 2 brands I trust and suggest to anyone).  So all that I'd say around 1200-1300$ total , and since you got 700-800 to spare , why not invest in a liquid cooling system for your CPU/GPU all at once.  Like I did earlier this year , drops the temp by about 10-15 celcius on CPU and almost 20 on the GPU.   FrozenCPU.com is one of the best stops when it comes to liquid cooling PC's.   So if my reply helped in any way , I'm glad I could of helped. :)

SSDs in RAID 0 are a bad idea.  The speed difference is only noticeable in synthetic benchmarks, not real-world usage.  Meanwhile, if any one of the SSDs dies, you lose all of your data.  There can also be problems with the RAID array not working properly, and two smaller SSDs costs more than one larger one, at least up to 512 GB.  RAID 0 is just more cost and more potential problems with no meaningful upside.

Even if you want 16 GB of system memory (which is reasonable on your budget), I'd get two 8 GB modules, not four 4 GB modules.  That means less power consumption, less stress on the memory controller, and room for future upgrades on the off chance that you someday decide that you need more than that.

The top Core i5 processor is the Core i5-3570K, which is $220.

The lower end CPU-only liquid coolers aren't really any better than air coolers.  The higher end liquid cooling systems cost hundreds of dollars, and they're strictly enthusiast territory, either for people who think they're fun to mess with (not you if you need a friend to help assemble it), or people who want to go for an unreasonably large overclock.  The latter is a bad idea if you want the system to last you 5-6 years.

 

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13179

11/24/12 8:12:20 PM#11
Originally posted by Dragonbard

Thanks for the advice so far everyone. 

Quiz, I am currently intrigued by that  mini-desktop idea, although admittedly I have no idea what a build for a case like that would look like.

So, would an i7 show that much performance increase over the high end i5 for gaming? 

The main advantage of a Core i7 over a Core i5 is hyperthreading.  If your workload doesn't scale to more than four processor cores, then Windows won't use hyperthreading at all, because the only possible effects of it are bad.  If it does scale to more than four cores, then hyperthreading basically lets each core handle two threads simultaneously, and one can use any execution resources that the core has available if the other thread isn't ready.

If your workload scales flawlessly to 8 cores, then hyperthreading can increase performance by up to 30%.  Just because a workload does scale well doesn't mean it will automatically get that big of an advantage; I once did a synthetic test with something that trivially scaled well to arbitrarily many cores and found that in that particular test, hyperthreading increased performance by 15%.

For games, if hyperthreading increases performance at all, you'll already have performance so high that it doesn't matter.  Do you really care if hyperthreading increases your performance from 200 frames per second to 240?  Games that have a meaningful processor bottleneck almost invariably do so because they're not able to put enough processor cores to good use.  If a game can't make use of more than two processor cores, then hyperthreading won't benefit you at all.

If Moore's Law survives long enough, then games will probably eventually assume that everyone has more than four processor cores, and buying a Core i7 now could make it last you a little longer.  But that won't happen until we think of an eight-core processor about the same as we think of a dual core now.  If Moore's Law survives another decade, then maybe.  Or maybe not.  Many algorithms intrinsically don't scale well to as many cores as games can readily be made to, so a future of 16-core tablets may mever arrive.  It's hard to predict.  But it's not going to happen in 5-6 years, and if your processor starts struggling with games 10 years from now, then that will mean that the computer lasted you ten years, which is really good.

  Searias

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/23/08
Posts: 663

11/24/12 8:45:43 PM#12
Since you are looking for a computer to last for you about 5 to 6 years I would go with an I7 3930K because, I don't know how game will work but having more cores might be more benefitial than having 4 by then or at least last you longer. I bought an Intel Q9550 4 years ago and It still can run most games fine only game that system has problems with is Planetside 2 but, it is still playable.

Corsair Obsidian 900D Case
Corsair Hydro H110 Extreme Liquid Cooler
Intel Core i7 3770K @ 4.80GHz
Asus Maximus V Formula
G.SKILL TridentX Series 16GB DDR3 @ 2400MHz
Samsung 840 pro Series 256GB SSD
Western Digital RED NAS 3TB Storage Drive
Hitachi 2TB Data Storage Drive
2xASUS GTX TITAN SLi
Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution ST1200-G Modular Power Supply

  Dragonbard

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/11
Posts: 10

 
OP  11/24/12 9:34:23 PM#13

Thanks, everyone, for your inputs! I really do appreciate the help.

I think Im going to go with the mini-case build and try to put some parts together that will fit. 

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13179

11/24/12 9:43:20 PM#14
Originally posted by Dragonbard

Thanks, everyone, for your inputs! I really do appreciate the help.

I think Im going to go with the mini-case build and try to put some parts together that will fit. 

Does that mean the really small case, or only the kind of small case?  A lot of parts that will fit the latter won't fit the former.

  Dragonbard

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/11
Posts: 10

 
OP  11/24/12 9:45:13 PM#15
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Dragonbard

Thanks, everyone, for your inputs! I really do appreciate the help.

I think Im going to go with the mini-case build and try to put some parts together that will fit. 

Does that mean the really small case, or only the kind of small case?  A lot of parts that will fit the latter won't fit the former.

The really small case.

  VictorRed

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/10/12
Posts: 26

11/24/12 9:53:43 PM#16

Hey man I recommend you goto town on IBUYPOWER.COM.... that way u have some type of warranty and its only alittle more then if someone was building it.  Then you cant say oh shit you fucked up my machine to your friend. Good way to lose a friend ship.

 

I would recommend the new x79 board with a i5 3570k go 16 gigs get your self a 120 solidstate for your bootup and games you play the most then a 1 or 2 tera for back up...7950 for gaming and upgrade the board so it can hold more then one video card recommend ASROCK best for the money right now...and you can do this all through IBUYPOWER.com and see what case you like to and they do an awesome job of install if u pay alittle more.

 

good luck

 

btw anything above i5 IS A WASTE OF MONEY no game will use more then 4 cores. Their drivers wont use them...If anyone keeps telling you to get one then they are morons...look at tomshardware.com for i5 and i7 results comparison on games...I5 wins some times but i7 for the money is a small amount...mainly only used of computing power and calculations..not gaming.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3322

11/24/12 10:35:45 PM#17

I put together a smaller build recently, using a Lian Li PCV-354. There are smaller cases, this one is a bit wider than normal, but it worked out ok. MicroATX board.

I didn't get a modular power supply - wish I would have though, it would have made things a lot easier. It was an utter pain installing everything, especially after working on full towers for so long, and the case definitely isn't made for easy access to tinkering with, but it certainly wasn't impossible to put together.

It does have room for SLI, but you probably wouldn't want to. This particular case has room for a ton of hard drives (or pull one HD cage and you have room for longer video cards). It also has a bit of empty space up around top (near the optical drive) for internal air. A smaller case would probably cut out all that extra room.

The build is not aggressive - no overclocks or anything. A modest CPU cooler on a i5 3570 and external exhaust nV660 video card it runs very nearly silent. A nice little build and the person whom it was built for loves it.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13179

11/24/12 10:54:20 PM#18
Originally posted by VictorRed

btw anything above i5 IS A WASTE OF MONEY no game will use more then 4 cores. Their drivers wont use them...If anyone keeps telling you to get one then they are morons...look at tomshardware.com for i5 and i7 results comparison on games...I5 wins some times but i7 for the money is a small amount...mainly only used of computing power and calculations..not gaming.

A lot of games will use more than four cores if you have them.  But that's very different from benefitting from more than four cores.  Eight cores at 25% load each is the same performance as four cores at 50% load each, but the former does use eight cores.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13179

11/24/12 11:40:23 PM#19

Here you go:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1097044

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1126263

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167127

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416550

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130787

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148834

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186060

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Optical-Drives-14700365-SN-208BB/dp/B005CH9U1G/

Total:  $1379, including shipping, and before $30 in rebates.

The case includes a 600 W power supply of a custom form factor.  The power supply doesn't have very many cables, but it basically gives you everything that you could use and still fit in the case.

The motherboard is Mini ITX, so it should fit.

The memory is intentionally low profile, which may make it easier for things to fit.  Or it might not matter.

For most desktops, the efficiency advantage of a GeForce GTX 670 over a Radeon HD 7970 doesn't matter.  But for you, it does.  And the case is largely designed for external exhaust coolers like that, so that the video card basically has its own airflow circuit:  cool air comes into the card through the side of the case, then hot air goes out the back of the card and directly out of the case.  That way, not that much heat from the video card spills elsewhere into the case.

I have no idea how much storage space you need.  With a 240 GB SSD, you might not even need a hard drive at all.  But if you do, there one is.

A lot of aftermarket processor heatsinks won't physically fit.  This one should.  AVA Direct actually builds computers around some analogous cases, and offers that particular cooler as one of the options.

http://www.avadirect.com/nano-gaming-pc-configurator.asp?PRID=19636

You need a slim optical drive, not a normal size one.  New Egg didn't have any reasonably-priced slim optical drives, so I checked Amazon.

Finally, for a surge protector, you need to make sure that whatever you get can take 220 V in Thailand.  The power supply that comes with the case can, but a surge protector may not.  My UPS won't take anything over 160 V.

  miguksaram

Elite Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 826

11/25/12 12:09:42 AM#20

If you are serious about building a bleeding edge small form factor gaming machine I HIGHLY suggest you check out the following forum:

http://hardforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=102  (Main Small Form Factor Thread)

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1372339&page=83  (Perfect example of a powerful gaming PC in a SMALL case)

In that same thread you can see both an AMD HD7970 and Nvidia GTX680 in the Shugo 5 case, very impressive shoebox!

That particular section is devoted to small form factor machines, many of which are specifically built to push a cases gaming limits as far as components are concerned.  The majority of them also have build logs so you can literally just copy the build and have yourself a machine you know will work.  If you aren't sure about something feel free to either ask on those forums or paste you build here (preferably with a link back to the one you copied it from) and we can help you further.

Nothing against Quiz's build  as I know he try's to put together systems specifically tailored to a person's needs but the reason I am suggesting checking out the link above is because those guys are small form factor enthusiasts who are more than willing to help get someone else into their realm and your budget is MORE than enough to go all out.

EDIT: Btw Quiz's build is very good and one which you will see replicated on the forums I linked.  About the only thing I would change is the CPU fan but thats because I am willing to pay a little extra for power and silence

http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productvideos&products_id=50

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608029&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10440897&PID=3891137&SID=rewrite

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