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Desktops forum

General discussion

Need help building a gaming PC

by insanemembrain13 / August 19, 2008 10:51 AM PDT

First off, i want to tell you guys that this pc is overkill. I am willing to put this much money into it, because i am going away into the navy for nuclear engineering and have a cool $20,000 sign on bonus to attend to. I want to put as much insane stuff into it so that it will take a year or 2 to become outdated lol and so......

I have a build-your-own pc created on the falcon web site that i really want to build myself instead of paying $6,898.17 for *duh*. The things i want to know are, 1. What web site do you think will have most all the parts for the cheapest price. 2. About how much do you think it would cost me to buy all the parts. And 3. Need a web site to buy a nice case from. Specs on the monster are below:

ICON Exotix - Rain
ICON Window and Case Lighting - Red
Silverstone 1200Watt Strider - Modular
EVGA 790i Ultra SLI
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz
ICON Watercooling Kit
8GB (4X2GB) 1066MHZ DDR3
3x nVidia 280GTX 1GB DDR3
Integrated On-Board Audio
DWA-552 Xtreme N Wireless PCI Adapter
WD 250GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache
LG BlueRay/HD Reader and DVD/RW
No Floppy Drive
Windows Vista Home Premium - 64 Bit
Falcon Northwest T-Shirt (M)

Known issues with this configuration: None

System Price: $ 6,898.17

Price with UPS Ground $ 7,029.37
Price with UPS 2-Day $ 7,170.97
Price with UPS Overnight $ 7,320.57
Price with USPS Service to Military $ 7,298.17

ANY help is appreciated. contact me here, or on aim - insanemembrain13

Discussion is locked
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My Thoughts.
by dridings / August 19, 2008 9:38 PM PDT
Here is only one of many cases you may want to consider. A couple of other changes I would recommend, can the Q9550 and go with an Extreme Processor QX9650. Be sure to add a liquid cooling system for the CPU.
Forget the Blu-Ray drive for now and replace with a good sata DVD+-R burner.
Use a pair of bigger HDD's like:
Add a sound card like the Turtle Beach Montego:
and a set of Logitech speakers Z-5500:
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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: My Thoughts.

Awesome, I called falcon and pretty much begged (not really) to buy a custom case but they said no lol. I personally dont know much about liquid cooling on cpu's. Ive read a little about mixed medal contacts that corrode easily and dont last long. Have a suggestion for a good cooling system? I had picked VANTEC STG-100 All-in-one Water Cooling Kit off of newegg but have read a lot of bad things about it. And i was looking for a blue ray Read drive mostly, so i could watch killer dvd's and such Happy but not a good idea? Definitely up the HDD.
Thanks a alot, much appreciated

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 2:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

Oh nice, that case comes with its own water cooling system.

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A note to Water cooling
by dridings / August 20, 2008 4:07 AM PDT
In reply to: hm

You will need to do maintenance on the cooling system on a periodic basis... like change the coolant at least annually. Also, be sure to test and check connections for leaks on a regular basis. The benefits of water cooling over air are substantial especially if you use a 65nm form CPU over a 45nm CPU (less heat generation). Overall, the cooler a CPU operates it will allow for better overclocking with more stablility and generally a longer life cycle. I would avoid water cooling the other components just for the simple fact that you will be adding many more hose connections and adding to the maintenance and potential leakage. However, when desigining for you case air flow, your objective should be to create a NEGITIVE case PRESSURE! Google this for more info.

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 4:31 AM PDT

I will google that. thanks! interesting that th opbect is a negative air pressure. hmm

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by ramarc / August 19, 2008 11:52 PM PDT

why the relatively dinky hard drive? wd 640gb and 750gb are faster and only $40-$60 more. since price is no issue, a pair of wd velociraptors (300gb 10,000 rpm) or an ocz core2 64gb ssd + wd 640gb hard drive would be better suited.

be careful when shipping a watercooled pc... be sure to double check the setup.

as for tri-sli, the third card only boosts performance by 20% or so (and of course it's no benefit in some games). you also might consider getting a case that accomodated dual power supplies (like a 750w for the main system and a 600-750w for the second and third cards).

use newegg's advanced search criteria to pick out components. price check them at,, and

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 2:47 AM PDT
In reply to: 250gb?

Ok, yeah *slaps wrist about own HDD choice* lol. Other than that, now i need to decide to keep the 3rd graphics card or not because even though money isnt really an option here, 450$? < > or = 20% boost... Not an easy decision. Thanks for the tips/sites they help a lot.

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New option
by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 2:50 AM PDT
In reply to: ok

Someone just suggested to me the new ATI HD 4870x2 card, maybe outdoes the GTX280? and also, some people have told me that the nvidia mboards are causing a lot of problems. any thoughts on that?

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 2:59 AM PDT
In reply to: New option

What about the power supply thing. Is 2 really better than one? How will i know if the case will fit 2 and how will i know if the power supply will have the right interface connectors with my motherboard (had a bad experience)

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Agree with 2x ATI 4870
by dridings / August 20, 2008 3:25 AM PDT
In reply to: New option
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cool ty
by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 3:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Agree with 2x ATI 4870

Thanks, that helps.. what about the Intel X48 board? crossfirex setup??

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 4:12 AM PDT
In reply to: cool ty

That video was great. There seems to be much better cards out by ati this time around than nvidia. SO my only concern at this point is the power supply, getting the right pins and such. Can i run those ATI'S in SLI? 2x or possible 3x?

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Sometimes you just get Lucky!
by dridings / August 20, 2008 4:21 AM PDT
In reply to: vid

I would avoid the 3x cards as stated in an earler post, and in the ATI world, it's called Crossfire. Don't count nVidia out, ATI stumbled on a NUT! Yes, I am NVidia! But all is well.

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 4:38 AM PDT

Personally im an nvidia kinda guy also lol.

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A Good Chance!
by dridings / August 20, 2008 5:10 AM PDT
In reply to: nvidia

There is a good chance the nVidia cards will play better together with the 790i (NVidia)Northbridge chipset. However, I would check some testing and reviews for results. I will see what I can find for you. But anyway you look at it... you new system is just sick!!! I would not go hog wild with the cards like the X280 because they are new... and for sure will drop in price! If you want the ATI Crossfire , there may be a better MoBo option. Try the Extreme Tech site. Here is a link to Extreme Tech on Motherboards that should help. There is a lot of reading and info here!

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 5:15 AM PDT
In reply to: A Good Chance!

Yeah, well the navy nuke college i will be attending is going to probably involve a TON of nerds (like me) and i have heard stories about massive multi level lav parties that take place there lol. i get a check for 9 grand after boot camp, ineed to buy a car, and a kick *** desktop lol.

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by dridings / August 20, 2008 4:14 AM PDT
In reply to: cool ty

Honestly, I am not well informed in the chipset area. Let's leave this to someone else. Maybe we can both learn something.

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 5:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Stumped!

Here i have compiled a new cart from newegg (best prices on most) all i need is a power supply.

1. LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 5:36 AM PDT
In reply to: SETUP AS OF NOW

Woops, ok the vista by its self, motherboard and Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Yorkfield 3.0GHz LGA 775 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569QX9650 - Retail
combo ---------- $1,359.98

i wish there was an edit option

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Looking good... But!
by dridings / August 20, 2008 7:38 AM PDT
In reply to: SETUP AS OF NOW

I have not been hearing that good of reviews about the Patriot Memory. Here is a suggestion.
1. 8GB is overkill for the general applications you most likely will be running. 4gb is max for Vista 32 bit.
2. I am a firm believer in OCZ because I deal direct and had GREAT support! Order two pairs! Try this:
3. I would be a bit cautious with the Vista 64 bit OS. You may find some software and hardware still not yet supporting 64 bit. Read this link:
Hang loose...I will send you a power consumption chart to help size the PSU. Note: the 4870's in Crossfire idle at 175 Watt and 385 Watt at full load.POWER HOGS no doubt.

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General power chart.
by dridings / August 20, 2008 7:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Looking good... But!

Don't forget to add for misc. devices like USB powered items and external drives you may want to add. Althought minor, they add to the equation. Check you component specs for accurate descriptions.

Component Requirement
AGP Video Card 30W - 50W
PCI Express Video 100W - 250W
Average PCI Card 5W - 10W
DVD/CD 20W - 30W
Hard Drive 15W - 30W
Case/CPU Fans 3W (ea.)
Motherboard (w/o CPU or RAM) 50W - 150W
RAM 15W per 1GB

Processor 80W - 140W

For overall power supply wattage, add the requirement for each device in your system, then multiply by 1.5. (The multiplier takes into account that today's systems draw disproportionally on the +12V output. Furthermore, power supplies are more efficient and reliable when loaded to 30% - 70% of maximum capacity.)

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 2:24 PM PDT
In reply to: General power chart.

Ok, so.. i read online that the hd 4870's draw about 380watts each on full throttle. The 4gb ram, thats 60 watts, optical drive is 30 watts, hd is 30, mother board 150, processor 140. When i add those all up and multiply them by 1.5,, it totally kicks the crap out of any single high end power supply.
that wouldnt cut it?
Looks like i might need 2 power supplies after all.. lol.

Also the case had lights, and a water pump... didnt take that into account.

Did i get what u were telling me correct?

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 2:48 PM PDT
In reply to: question

Ok well, the whole "i read online" thing seems to of come from the previous post. I re read that u ment both together will draw about 380 watts. big diff

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by dridings / August 20, 2008 2:52 PM PDT
In reply to: question

Don't take the multiplier of 1.5 to heart! You don't run everything at max for long periods of time. Also, you made some power changes with the 4870 to the 4850 and this will lower your consumption as well. The 1000 Watt will be fine however be sure it has enough 12v rails for the Dual 4850's. They require TWO PWR connectors each. The lighting is minimal due to an inverter. I think they may be trying to up-sell you!

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goin with 4870's
by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 3:01 PM PDT
In reply to: PSU

Im going to go with the 4870's, they seem to bring more game lol

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i recommend 1 card
by ramarc / August 20, 2008 9:08 AM PDT
In reply to: ok

if you just want 'bragging rights' then by all means get 3 gtx280. but two gtx280 or a hd 4870x2 will give you same the same gaming experience... the only benefit *may* be if you're trying to run a 30" lcd at native resolution (2560 x 1600). but every 12 months there will be a new card that will match your dual card setup's performance. so spending $1200+ on video cards now will probably result in a slower pc next year compared to spending $400 now, then upgrading to the latest $400 card next year. (includes tri-sli results)

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by dridings / August 20, 2008 12:26 PM PDT
In reply to: i recommend 1 card

There is some truth to that... but the same holds true for the CPU, motherboard, RAM, PSU's, Games, ect... Really who wants to wait to long? If this was the case, we would not buy anything! Giving this some thought, if I were to do anything a to save a bunch and not chop the hell out of performance, go with a pair of HD 4850's at under $400.00. The dual card set-up will yeild up to a 60% performance gain over the single card. With that being said, I would have to somewhat agree. I am currently running two 8800gt's OC and they are only about 5 months old and a single HD 4850, just short, blows them away at price per quality. I paid the same $$$ for a single 8800 GT OC as being offered for the HD4850 and there is no comparison.

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I agree as well
by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 1:51 PM PDT
In reply to: True!!

Well now im thinking about just using a regular x32 version of vista. I know that x64 vista costs a lot (i have my own copy of vista x32) and i also know alot of things still are not supported yet by x64 os. About the cards, i think the ati hd 4850s will be my best bet. they arent to expensive, and seem to kick the **** out of most on their own.

Thanks again for all the help guys. I think ive learned more about building pc's in the past day then i ever knew to begin with (wish i knew half of this b4 i made my last one lol)

*better patriot ram, with 4gb less
*x32 os

saves some more money, but does it hurt any sort of performance...

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by insanemembrain13 / August 20, 2008 1:54 PM PDT
In reply to: I agree as well

ok i have the info about the differences in Osystems by that link i was given. definitely the 32x because of the problems with drivers... i dont want to go through driver hell ever again... lol

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by dridings / August 20, 2008 2:22 PM PDT
In reply to: I agree as well

I highly doubt you will lose performance, it seems to be more of a reliability issue. I am not opposed to the Patriot Memory, after all, I have not tested it. OCZ is a sure thing for me. I don't want to be like most and only base my opinion on what I have read! But, as for the total applicable amount you will need for Vista 32, you only can use 4 GB. In the real world, Vista 32 won't even utilize all 4GB. Look at the "Asus site specs" on your MoBo. They claim 3GB max on Vista 32 with DDR3! Aren't you glad you didn't just go out and start buying s**t? Here is another good tip... I have heard that you can get some valuable free building tips if you e-mail I happen to know them personaly! Not only is what you buy important... but so is the installation! Avoid Disaster! Thanks for listening to me. It's hard to find a straight shooter these days as well as others willing to listen!

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