A lot of people have been asking about computer builds lately so I figured I would post the setup I just built(June 2011). The systems is for 75% gaming 25% rendering. The budget was around $1000 but a couple hundred over was ok(for the most part avoided cheaper parts that always end in tears). I personally believe that anything over that starts to lose its bang for the buck. Instead of spending $2500 on one computer now, I personally think its better to go with one $1250 machine now and another $1250 later when that one starts to get dated. This way the system is usually more up to date(architecture, power consumption, compatibility, DirectX version, etc.). Of course these are just my opinions based on experience and never having $2500 to blow in one go.
1 Motherboard-ASROCK Z68 EXTREME4 $189
2 Video Card/GPU-RADEON HD6870 1GB $188 each $376 total
1 Power-CORSAIR 650W $90
1 Cpu-INTEL CORE I5 2500K $225
1 Memory-2x4GB KINGSTON HYPERX 1600 $85
1 Hard Drive-1TB $60
1 DVD Drive-ASUS $21
1 CPU Cooler-COOLMASTER HYPER212P $40
1 Case-SENTY BLACK BOX $60
2 Molex to PCI E adapters-$5 each
2 DIY Dust Filter Material-NYLON MESH PAINT FILTER $2 each
1 Operating System-WINDOWS 7 $130
1 Shipping $13
Total: $1303 before rebates and discounts $1215 after.
220mm case fan had to be mounted on exterior because of heat-sink(just bolted on the other side crude but effective), dust filters because house is dusty and not every opening was filtered. Removed usb door so it doesn’t obscure clock and case temp display when looking at it from where I sit. Cable routing needs work still. Problems installing Windows(duh).
Why Did You Choose That?
Ati Crossfire Radeon HD6870 1GB: Power per dollar, good discount. No matter what side of the fence you are on neither ati or nvidia will work for everything(please don’t turn into ati vs nvidia war, I could care less and have used both and both worked for me).
Z68 instead of P67: Probably could overclock more with P67 but I figured that someday there might actually be a useful program that can benefit from intel on die gpu acceleration.
Kingston Memory: Because the coin came up heads.
Only 650W: Would definitely not go any lower.
Intel 4 core vs AMD more cores: I’m not going to starting any wars, I’ve had both AMD and Intel and both worked just fine.
Senty Case: Figured it was worth a try. I like big quite fans that still move a lot of air.
Regrets: Crossfire(and SLI for that matter) are kind of hit and miss. Might have been more reliably served by a more expensive single card solution even though it wouldn’t have had near the power per dollar ratio. Might still get solid state drive.
Will post overclocking results and fps and render times when I get the chance.
All 1280X1024(I really need a new screen). Everything turned up as far as it will let me go.
Dirt3 51fps average
Dirt3 91fps average
3DMark Vantage around 25000
3Dmark Vantage around 29000