Gaming Build for Brother-in-Law; Details Inside; Advice Welcome

By Route44
Nov 26, 2010
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  1. Finally, yes finally, my brother-in-law realizes that if he wants to have a good, solid gaming system building one is the way to go. I can't even begin to tell you this momentous shift in his thinking. :D

    Primary Uses: Gaming system first and foremost that he says he wants to last him for the next 3-5 years with the ability to upgrade as the need arises, internet, email, etc.

    Budget: $1,500 - $2,000; shipping and tax needs to be included within this budget.

    This is what has been settled on by him: Quad-core cpu, full tower, Windows 7 64, as powerful a video card as he can get, and a 24" monitor preferably Samsung.

    Basically this is a full system build including the need for a mouse, keyboard, etc.as he has nothing to salvage from another system (and with his previous choices this is a good thing).

    I am not sure if an i7 is the way to go here because he will not be using this PC for video editing, demanding, apps, etc. At this point no SSD; that will come later.

    I am thinking an AMD quad core with 4 gigs of RAM should be enough. Now I am no fanboy so if you recommend an Intel configuration I am open but it has been quite some time since I have built an Intel PC.

    *** This system will not be overclocked at all. I live 2 hours away and I have no time to fix issues due to ocing.

    *** The bottom line is I am looking to build a solid stable system. I have already begun to research but would love to hear from the TechSpot community on this one.

    Thanks ahead of time.
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,177

  3. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,316   +116

  4. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,867   +74

    Hey there J,
    Okay this will undoubtedly draw the ire of some fanboy blowhards who are going to spew: "what an *****!, games don't use 6 cores!" but here is the reasoning for this build. a 3-5 year life cycle of a gaming rig is maybe a bit too much of an expectation, but this should be good for quite a while. and here is the reasoning.
    CPU AMD Phenom x6 1090T:
    1) there are games that do use more than 4 cores! see here:"
    http://www.techspot.com/gallery/member-galleries/p4089-bc2-half-dozen.html
    http://www.techspot.com/gallery/member-galleries/p4092-f1-2010-cpu-usage.html
    Lost planet 2 uses all six as well. I don't own the game , but I see that Supreme Commander will use all 12 threads of an Intel i7 980x. These is just the ones I have found so far. And I will bet you a beer that Crysis2 will use 6-8 cores/threads...just a hunch. While the efficiency is not perfect, multi threaded/core games are where things are heading (remember we are talking a long term build here)
    The MB:
    It has a couple of 'future considerations'. PCIE slots for 4 x CF id needed, and a Hydra lucid chipset. The Hydra is terribly inefficient right now, but its getting better. And if he is looking out 3+ years. It will enable him to CF different generations of cards. i know you don't want to be carting your person out to his place to undo his OC'ing screw ups, but Asus has some phenomenal OC'ing software bundled with the board that is '***** proof' (no reference to your Brother in law) that is easily applied in an software environment and involves no poking around in the BIOS. For this reason you could also save a few bucks and substitute the x6 1055T as well. The USB 3.0 connectivity is also a forward looking plus.
    8 GB Ram
    I have been saying this for some time now and Toms came out with a very comprehensive data on the subject. I would very much advise 8 GB of ram in a higher end gamer. I included 2x 4GB Ram kits in the build below. You can have a look for yourself.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-memory-upgrade,2778.html
    This is without any rebates, and leaves about $200.00 for an optical drive, mouse & keyboard.
    As far as the GPU, I plugged in $350.00 for a HD 6950. I assume with only days to go, he will probably wan to wait and get the latest gen.
    I am big fan of the Corsair HX series PSU, perhaps Moiz will weigh in on the PSU, he is a big fan of the Kingwin PSU's
    The Coolermaster V-8 is a pickem, its reasonably priced and keeps up with the best of them. The x6 is a rather cool runner and I am cooling my 4.17Ghz Oc'ed 1055T with the V-8 and it never touches 50c.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103849 Cpu 225.00
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131667 MB 300.00
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011 PSU 180.00
    AMD HD 6950 (estimated) 350.00
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001425 Mon 220.00
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145260 X2 108.00
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119160 Case 110.00
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533 HDD 90.00
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231378 SSD 190.00
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103055 HSF 50.00

    Good luck with the Bro in law :)
    let me know what you decide if you would.

    Greg
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,316   +116

    O.O If you're using a 6950...there is no need for so many PCIE slots.
  6. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,867   +74


    I think you missed the part about it lasting 3-5 years. The games they are coming out with right now (and apparently horrid coding) who knows how much Graphics horsepower you will need in a year. Right now I need 3x 5850's to get Metro 2033 to play at 70 FPS avg on highest details.
    you can always leave a PCIE slot open, you cant add another one though.
    and.. they are only putting lucid hydra's on the multi slot upper end MB's right now, so you get 3-4 PCIE slots by default. :
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,316   +116

    Yeah, but $300 now is a pretty big investment.
    Due to scaling, you could add another 6950, but those are most likely outdated, so you'll probably want a new dual GPU setup anyway.
  8. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,867   +74

    It is an expensive mb for sure, but attempting to build something you can play current games on for 3+ years is a challenge to say the least.
    [/QUOTE]

    yeah its a crap shoot. Thats why the $300 MB with the lucid Hydra. I think DX 11 will be around for 2-3 years anyway? so it would be a matter of adding more HP. I do think that if he rethinks the 3-5 year thing , the Crosshair X is not necessary.
    well now he has a couple of perspectives to look at it from. Mine is the more radical, but if he is serious about the 3-5 year thing, he is going to have to overbuild...ie 4 PCIE slots,Crosshair X etc ,or the like....my kind of build :)
  9. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 12,113   +23

    Going through your suggestions now.

    @ red1776: Is that motherboard a standard ATX board or is it extended? I tried to find the specs on this but haven't found it.
  10. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,867   +74

    its an ATX board, so you don't have to worry about an extended MB tray.
    **** if he has abandoned the 5+year life span , you can save 75$ and go for the Asus Crosshair IV formula. that way you dont pay for the lucid hydra, and have the same number of PCIE lanes at your disposal. I am running 4 x hd 5850's on mine, great board. I highly recommend it.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131644
  11. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 12,113   +23

    I like this board. By the way, do you have another set of memory choices? The Corsair you linked to is 1600 but to run in either board requires OCing. So 1333 would be fine without the need to ocing.

    Thanks again.
     
  12. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,867   +74

    The ram rating is the guaranteed speed its will run at. you can run it at 1333, 1066, or whatever you want. The Oc'ing is for the boards mem controller, not the ram. The Corsair XMS 12800 I linked to will run at 1600 with no voltage bump, or changing of timings. it is considered OC'ed for the board only. The price is great, the ram is great quality, and It works problem free (is on the QVL as well) I would get it and even if you wan to run it at a lower frequency, you will have the capability at your disposal.
  13. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 12,113   +23

    Duh-me! After I had posted last time i actually engaged my brain and thought to myself, "Hey, wait, that memory will work anyway."

    The only problem is that before I could pull the trigger the Corsair sold out.


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