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Will I Have To WaterCool?? $3000 Gaming Computer Budget

By mstpaintball ยท 10 replies
Jul 23, 2006
  1. Let me first say that this will be the first computer that I personally built. I was going to go with a Alienware, but it looks like I can save a lot of money building it myself.

    CPU - AMD 5000+
    Motherboard - Not sure yet, I'll need suggestions I don't know much about motherboards.
    RAM - 1GB - 2GB of Dual Channel DDR2 PC6400 or PC8000
    Hard Drive - Maxtor DiamondMax 10 250GB 7200-16MB-ATA133
    Video Cards - 2 BFG Geforce 7950 GX2 1GB for SLI (I know drivers aren't available yet)

    ASUS VENTO 3600 Red

    I really like the NZXT cases and the Asus Vento.

    I want to purchase my Motherboard and CPU in a Combo so that the CPU is already installed to the Motherboard.
    Motherboard and AMD Athlon X2 5000+ AM2 Combo
    I select the AMD 5000+, but I'm not sure which motherboard I should get from the selection?

    So, will this setup have to be watercooled? I just feel uneasy about watercooling. I probably won't be Overclocking anything.

    My budget is about $3000 (more, or less if possible lol) with 17" Monitor. I'm looking to purchase from MonarchComputer, Tigerdirect, Newegg, and maybe Ebay.

    This is going to be a Gaming Computer, so if I've overlooked something, like making a bad processor choice or something let me know.

  2. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    hi mstpaintball,

    I would recommend doing it yourself. otherwise you will be paying them money to do less than 1 minute worth of work (unless you pay them even more money to use generic thermal grease instead of the stock thermal pad that comes with it).

    If you're concerned about damaging it... don't worry. Althon64's have a large metal heatspreader over the CPU die, so it's not like the old socket-A processors with an exposed die that you could damage very easily.

    no, it doesn't have to be watercooled. if you planned on overclocking or you want a silent computer then that's another story. but you will be fine with the stock cooling (if you don't mind the noise)

    1. the only thing I would say that you overlooked is the power supply. that's going to be a powerful system, and will need a quality PSU that can deliver solid, clean power and protection for your expensive components. I would recommend a 500w or higher PSU from a reputable company like OCZ, Antec, Enermax, Fortron, SeaSonic, or PCP&C to name a few, but read reviews for specific models before you decide what to buy (especially pertaining to SLI, just being "SLI certified" may not be enough to power those beasts)

    2. your processor choice seems fine to me. (it'll run circles around my 3000+ ;)) also, I hate to suggest going over to the dark side (haha :haha:) but just to be fair... you may want to consider waiting a few weeks for the Intel conroe processors to come out, they are said to outperform all existing processors, including the AMD FX-62 (AMD's best CPU)

    3. you didn't specify what RAM you'll be using. since it will be a gaming rig you want the best performance possible out of that thing so don't just buy any old RAM, get some high end RAM from brands like mushkin, OCZ, kingston, or corsair to name a few.

    other than that, it's going to be one hell of a rig! and you're budget of $3,000.00 should leave with with plenty of extra cash in the end.

    cheers :wave:
  3. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Posts: 170

    Ugh, don't get a Maxtor HDD, they're crap and like to die. Go with Seagate, you can get a 320GB for about ~$110.
  4. mstpaintball

    mstpaintball TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Alright, I think I'll hold off on getting the Motherboard and CPU for a few weeks at least and see whats up with the Conroe. If the Conroe is out of my budget then maybe it will help bring down the price of other processors like the 5000+ or FX-62.

    So what I think I'm going to buy somewhat soon, is.
    Case - NZXT LEXA
    Seems like it will run much cooler than the NZXT Apollo, eventhough I liked the orange color of that case. Is this case going to be a ok size for 2 BFG Geforce 7950 GX2 1GB for SLI? Is this going to be a ok case for the system I'm trying to build?

    I need help picking out specific Ram and Powersupplies, both being SLI compatiable, a $400 - $500 Powersupply is way out of my budget though, but I guess that I do need one capable of handling Quad SLI for the 2 BFG 7950 GX2 video cards.
    I think I want to go 2gb Ram (2x 1gb sticks). Dual Channel DDR2 6400 - 8500.

    Also, I guess I can go ahead and pick up a Harddrive, if a Maxtor DiamondMax 10 250GB 7200-16MB-ATA133 isn't a good choice then let me know, I was just skipping though some online and found it. If I should get a different one, I would be willing to get 2 Hard Drives if I have to, and use one of them for large storage. I think I can handle getting the DVD-RW Drive on my own.

    I think I'll just order Windows XP Home Edition since its only like $100, unless I can see good beneifit from some other edition.

    Skipping through a large article on Toms Hardware, it seems that similar spec ram can have different performance depending on the manufacturer. I think they said Cosair was the best performance, but Patriot was the best for the money.

    I don't mind buying this piece by piece if I need too, because I know the 2 video cards are going to be about $1200 alone, but I would like to stick to building this for $3000 or less.

    Since I am holding off on the Motherboard and CPU until the Conroe is released, is there anything else I should avoid getting until I have a set Motherboard and CPU? I think I would just feel better about letting someone else install the CPU to the Motherboard.
    I'm assuming when it comes to RAM and Video Cards its better to go ahead a purchase them in pairs at the same time to ensure compatiablity with eachother.

    Thanks for the help!!
  5. mstpaintball

    mstpaintball TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 64

    Alright, I'm open to suggestions towards anything.
  6. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Posts: 170

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148140$104.99 USD(ignore the $10 sale that's only for this weekend).

    Also, apparently the weaker of the Conroe chips will be about $300 and supposedly it outperforms the 5000+. Maybe waiting will be a good idea. AMD price cuts aren't scheduled for a little while so that might be a long wait.
  7. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    I know it might be hard to wait but DO NOT buy those videocards. They will be almost useless when DirectX10 comes out in a few months. Instead, just buy something cheap like a 7600GT just for the moment until the DX10 cards come out!!!
  8. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    AMD price cuts are already in effect, aren't they?

    I'd rather go with the AMD anyway, since the price is about the same. Conroe motherboards are way too expensive. Besides, I don't trust brand spanking new technology like this immediately, usually I'll leave a few months for the general public to debug it first. And for them to make some nice changes to the chip :D
  9. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Posts: 170

    It's been announced, but takes effect October 24th this year. Also, I generally would agree with you, but it actually looks like Intel has really raised the bar this time.
  10. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    Where did you see this? TGDaily states that AMD has already lowered the price to vendors and I see that Newegg has lowered their prices as well?
  11. i_am_a_newbie

    i_am_a_newbie TS Rookie Posts: 170

    I completely misread the chart, I didn't see the column for July as well. Only read the 10/23 section. oops.
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