This is just me organizing some notes on building a new gaming rig. The last one I built 2 years ago still works great, but I want to transition it over to be my day-to-day Ubuntu desktop, and use this new one as an excuse to dive into Windows 7. So far, I have purchased nothing, and may not even pull the trigger, but at least I know what I want for now. I already have plenty of boxes and not enough uses for them!
Budget: In the past I’ve been budget-conscious and always planned to upgrade parts as the years go by. I’ve learned that I really just don’t upgrade much beyond peripherals or a few non-core pieces. Likewise, I’ve never really splurged on a system for myself. So this year, I’m planning on splurging with parts and pieces that should last quite some time. I’m not shying away from spending $3,000 on the system, and the parts listed below do approach that figure. Ten years ago I would scoff at such a budget, but I guess this is what happens when you get older and more fiscally responsible!
Use: First, gaming. Second, I also use this system for media ripping and burning and some pmp management (not with iTunes!!). I have no plans to rip and/or burn blu-ray media, but I think it is worth having that capability since I already want the blu-ray player option. Third, I pay bills and do banking on it. I don’t install software beyond gaming, and I don’t run strange media files or other files on it. Basically, I treat this system like a trusted box that I intend to do my sensitive stuff on. Since this isn’t my Windows “bitch box” that gets crap loaded on it, I can both trust it more and keep games running smoothly. This is not my day-to-day desktop where I check email and ESPN and blogs. I use Ubuntu for that. I also have other systems running Windows that I can do more experimental things on including a VMWare server. Hell, this box is big enough to leverage VirtualPC and run something in it to play with…
Notes not represented in the below parts: I already have decent 2.1 speakers, headset, keyboard, mouse, a 24″ monitor (2 if I wanted to use it on this system) and I KVM the input devices with my day-to-day Ubuntu box. I will also run a second liquid cooling loop that will hit, at a minimum, the graphics card.
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard – 309.99
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD7 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard – 349.99
Motherboard: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard – 289.99
CPU: Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor – 288.99
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard – 134.99
CPU: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor – 279.99
CPU cooling: CORSAIR Cooling Hydro Series CWCH50-1 120mm High Performance CPU Cooler – 77.89
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D CC800DW Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case – 269.99
Case: COOLER MASTER CM690 II Advanced Black Steel body / Plastic + Mesh bezel ATX Mid Tower – 99.99
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply – 169.99
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) – 169.99
Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory – 106.99
Graphics: SAPPHIRE 100281SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 – 409.99
CD-RW: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW SATA CD/DVD Burner – 26.99
Blu-ray: Pioneer Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner – 199.99
Blu-ray: LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner – 89.99
Soundcard: ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card – 89.99
Windows OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit – 179.99
HD: OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX120G 2.5″ 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) – 429.00
HD: Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2M160G2R5 2.5″ 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) – 499.00
HDx2: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb – 55.99×2
HDx2: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive – 69.99×2
HDx2: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive – 89.99×2
All main parts from Newegg. Other watercooling and misc parts from FrozenCPU.
4 thoughts on “2010 gaming rig build notes”
My biggest regret, aside from not banging that hottie, is blowing $3000 on a gaming pc. Stick to around 1000 or less, and you’ll get comparable results. Not as big an E-peen, but put that 2000 you save towards retirement ;P
I will admit, you have an exceedingly good point, and I certainly could save money on it quite easily.
In doing some more review, I made some edits, but really it all comes down to one question now: Do I stick with i7 and an x58 board, or be ok with i5 + p55 board.
If you think it’s worth it, you may want to consider waiting a few more weeks as Intel is due to release their new six-core CPU soon. This will likely mean a price drop on the existing i7 chips.
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